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On September 12, the Sirsa man announced his decision to quit, while looking to continue playing domestic hockey at home and in Europe. But alongside, especially when playing overseas, he plans to take golf lessons.
“I will continue playing club hockey and also learn golf along the way. It’s true that I will try to pursue golf as a career. Let’s see,” he said talking exclusively to
Sardar’s career spanned 12 years and 314 international caps, including a stint as India captain. In fact, he was the youngest to become India skipper at the age of 21 years and 10 months in 2008. He also led India to the Asian Games gold in 2014 at Incheon.
Golf is a popular career choice for many players who retire from other sports. The most famous Indian names that spring to mind are cricketers Kapil Dev, who played the 2018 Asia Pacific Seniors, and Ajit Agarkar, who had qualified for the Indian final of the BMR World Corporate Golf Challenge.
In Sardar’s case, though, it will be a unique first as a hockey player will move from artificial grass back to natural one. In sporting terms, the pushback may soon be replaced by a tee-off.
The hockey icon smiled at the mention of that, before saying: “I will sit down with people from the Hero Group to discuss how to go about it.”
Sardar is one of the brand ambassadors for Hero that is a major sponsor of golf tournaments around the globe.
“I am privileged to have represented my country and hear the National Anthem as the Indian flag went up (at the 2014 Asian Games),” Sardar said remembering one of his favourite on-field moments.
“It’s now time to move on.”