-Hockey India congratulates both on this achievement
New Delhi, 26 January 2015: Bringing another laurel to Indian hockey, India Men Hockey Team captain Sardar Singh as well as the former captain for the India Women Team, Saba Anjum will be conferred with one the most prestigious national honours – Padma Shri Award – by the Government of India. Both Sardar as well as Saba Anjum were even conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both the awardees have to their credit of brining laurels to the country for their contribution on the field and even guiding their teams to victories.
The 28-year-old midfielder Sardar has played a pivotal role for India and his skilful game which has even inspired the new generation of hockey players across the world. Sardar made his debut for the senior team against Pakistan in 2006 and since then he has played more than 200 international matches and has successfully contributed towards Indian hockey. Sardar is also the most sought player in the prestigious Hockey India League.
Saba in the other hand was one of the most prominent forwards and represented India during the Asian Games in 2002, Asia Cup in 2004, Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006, and Junior World Cup in 2001. Saba even had been conferred with the Chhattisgarh’s top Gundadhur sports award for bring honour to her state in the field of sports.
Congratulating both of them, Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, Hockey India said, “Hockey India is extremely delighted for both Sardar Singh as well as Saba Anjum for being conferred with the Padma Shri Award. Since his debut, Sardar has brought many laurels to the team and Indian Hockey. As a a captain, he is a hero and a mentor to whom young players look upto and learn the tricks of the game. Hockey India takes utmost pride in congratulating Sardar and wish him all the best for the upcoming tournaments and hope to see him bringing more laurels for Team India and thereby continues to make the country proud of him. As for Saba she was once regarded as one of the most prominent forward in the world of Hockey and seeing her play on the field many girls picked up the hockey stick. She has always made me proud with hey play and I am happy her efforts on the field have found recognition through this prestigious award.”
A delighted and proud Captain Sardar Singh said, “Receiving the Padma Shri Award is a great honour for me and I would take this opportunity to thank Hockey India for giving me the support which boosted my morale and that shows on the field. Also, credit of my success goes to the coaches who have mentored and guided me during my journey in hockey. I am proud to have been conferred with this award and will work harder to get more laurels for Team India.”
A very happy Saba Anjum said “I am honoured today for being chosen for this prestigious award. I have no word to show my happiness but I would like to thank the Government of India for recognizing my efforts, Hockey India and my family for all their support”.
Sardar was appointed as the captain of the Indian hockey team in 2008 for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the age of 22 years where India finished 2nd in the tournament and bagged the Silver medal. In 2010, Sardar Singh was nominated for the FIH All-Star team being the sole Indian to get the honour and a feat that was repeated again in 2012. In 2014, Sardar led India to a Silver medal finish in the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow and in the same year, Sardar steered his team to win the Incheon Asian Games Gold beating Pakistan in a highly-tensed finale and this feat of winning the Gold was achieved by the Indian team after 16 years. In the same year the India Hockey Team even beat Australia in a Test Series at home and also finished at a respectable fourth position in the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy 2014.
In the 15 year long international career, Saba has to her credit of being a part of the team which won the bronze at 2006 Doha Asian Games. She is also known for striking six goals including the winning one in the final of Shastri Cup 2007 and went on to being the player of the tournament in the series.