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.