Manpreet Singh, the captain of the Indian men’s hockey team, was named the Sportsman of the Decade (Team Sports) at the 2021 Sportstar ACES Awards.

“Special thanks to Hockey India, my coaches, my teammates, support staff, my family and my friends for making this possible… This award belongs equally to my team,” Manpreet said on receiving the honour, while also acknowledging his fellow nominees and saying it was a great honour to be ranked alongside them.

Already an Olympian when he captained the country at the 2013 Junior World Cup, Manpreet made his international debut in 2011 at age 19 and has been a symbol of newfound confidence during a period of resurgence for Indian hockey.

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Named Asia’s Junior Player of the Year in 2014, Manpreet guided India to a sixth-place finish at the 2018 World Cup – the country’s best finish since 1994. In 2019, he led the national team to the FIH Series Finals and the Olympics Qualifiers, and became the first Indian ever to win the FIH Best Player of the Year award.

The 28-year-old half-back has scored 19 goals in 267 appearances for India, has participated in two Olympics, and has a rich collection of accolades at major competitions (Asian Games gold 2014, bronze 2018; Asia Cup gold 2017, silver 2013; Champions Trophy silver 2016 and 2018; Commonwealth Games silver 2014).

The 2021 edition of the Sportstar ACES Awards honoured the Giants of the Decade in Indian sport, with the winners being assessing on their performance and consistency from 2011 to 2020. Eleven awards were presented under the popular choice category, which was open to public voting, along with 14 jury awards as well as special recognition awards under two new categories – Sports for Good and Giants off the Field – that recognise the work of organisations and individuals who have used sports for the betterment of society.