Bhubaneswar: Dragflick sensation Harmanpreet Singh completed 100 International Caps for India on Friday. He achieved this milestone when India took on Japan in the Semi-Final match here at the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019.
Harmanpreet made his International debut in May 2015 when India played a Test Series against Japan in Bhubaneswar. But it was his performance at the FIH Champions Trophy in London 2016 when India won a historic Silver Medal that made the International fraternity take note of his prowess. Playing alongside senior compatriots, Harmanpreet had showcased impressive skill-work as a defender and played with gumption. His hard-struck dragflicks, abilities in the back-line earned him the FIH Rising Player of the Tournament award at the FIH Champions Trophy and he was rewarded for this performance by being included in India’s squad for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games making him one of the youngest players in the squad for the quadrennial extravaganza. Later that year, he played a pivotal role in India Colts’ successful campaign at the 2016 Junior Men’s World Cup in Lucknow.
Since then, there has been no looking back for this Amritsar-born defender and dragflicker who has honed his skills over the years and has matured as a player. Harmanpreet has been instrumental in some of India’s biggest feats including the Gold Medal at the 2017 Asia Cup as well as the Gold Medal at the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy. He was also part of India’s Bronze Medal feat at the Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017, Silver Medal at the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy in 2018 and a Bronze Medal at the 18th Asian Games last year.
“I have been fortunate to play alongside and against some of the finest players in modern hockey and I believe every day is new learning for me. To wear the India colours is a matter of great pride and honour and I consider myself lucky to have worn the India jersey in 100 matches. To complete this feat in front of our home crowd is a great feeling and I hope to ride on this support from my teammates and fans of hockey. I played my first International match here at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, against the same opponent and to complete 100 matches in the same ground in front of this fantastic crowd is truly special,” expressed an emotional Harmanpreet Singh.
Congratulating the young defender on completing 100 International Caps, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India, said: “Harmanpreet Singh has matured as a player in these past three years since he made his senior debut in 2016. He had proved his mettle as a junior player with some remarkable feats when they won the Sultan of Johor Cup and the Junior World Cup and Junior Asia Cup. He has shown great commitment to the sport and has stepped up as a young leader in the Senior group. On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate him on this feat and wish him l continued success to contribute to India’s rise in International Hockey.”