Marijne, John did not treat me well; says Sardar on shock retirement

Sardar Singh singled out an incident which took place last year during India’s triumphant campaign in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, where he was called to John’s room in the presence of Marijne.

After the Asian Games, Sardar was not named among the probables for the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman, forcing him to think about his future.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Sardar Singh, one of Indian hockey’s greatest centre-halfs of all time, has said he was forced to retire because he was treated badly.

Speaking at the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival here on Saturday, he revealed the reasons behind his shock retirement. “Shortly before the match against Pakistan at the Asia Cup at Dhaka, I was called to Hockey India’s High Performance Director David John’s room and he said that I had made mistakes and that I was playing an individual game,” he said. “I don’t think it is right for a coach to tell a player such things just before a game.”

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He said being neglected for major tournaments was another reason. “Things changed for the worse for me after the sacking of coach Roelant Oltmans,” he said.

“I was getting dropped without any discussions. John and coach Sjoerd Marijne wanted to try out new players.”

The 32-year-old also recalled an incident during a national camp that said much about the way Indian players are treated. “The team was not announced to the players but we were asked to see the list pasted in front of our rooms. And my name was not there,” he said.