Hockey India (HI) on Monday recommended senior player and former captain Sardar Singh for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour.
Sardar made his debut for India in the junior team during India’s tour to Poland in 2003-04.
In 2006, he graduated to the senior side making debut against Pakistan. Known for his high fitness levels not only in India but worldwide, Sardar was included in the 18-men FIH All Star team in 2010 and 2011.
He was the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He has also received the Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2015.
Other players SV Sunil, Dharamvir Singh and Deepika have been recommended for the Arjuna Award while RP Singh and Sumrai Tete have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award.
Coaches Sandeep Sangwan and Romesh Pathania have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award.
A committee, formed by the Sports Ministry, will decide on the recommendations made by respective sports federation.
Former player R P Singh represented the country during the 1986 and 1990 World Cup.
Sumrai Tete, a former Indian women’s team captain and coach, was also a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
SV Sunil has now become a vital cog for the senior men’s team after having stellar performances in India’s recent success.
Considered to be one of the fastest men on the pitch, Sunil has also served as the team’s vice-captain.
With an international career spanning over a decade, Deepika’s illustrious career includes appearances at the Commonwealth Games, World Cup as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Deepika was also instrumental in India’s maiden win at the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy last year.
Likewise, Dharamvir Singh too has been an asset to the team and was part of the Asian Games Gold medal winning team as well as the squad that won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and bronze at 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2015.