Thursday June 21, 2012
Indian star Sardar Singh keen to play in MHL
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: India’s Sardar Singh, rated as one of the world’s best defenders, is keen to play in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) scheduled to start in October.
Sardar, who has 150 international caps, said he had heard many interesting things about the MHL which is regarded as one of Asia’s top leagues.
“Many Indian and Pakistani players have featured in the MHL and that shows its quality,” said Sardar, who is a deputy superintendent of police in Haryana state.
“It provides good competition for players like me, who can play in any position. I’m willing to play for any team interested in signing me on.”
Among the top Indian players who have featured in the MHL are 1975 World Cup skipper Ajitpal Singh, Pargat Singh, Jude Felix, Mukesh Khanna and Len Aiyappa.
Sardar said his main priority now is to help India finish among the top six in the Olympics.
The Punjab-born Sardar, an accomplished all-rounder, was named in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) All Stars team the last two years.
The lanky player matured from a forward to centre-half, a position he relished before he was asked to become a defender.
He was also named as the best player in the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
Sardar, who is the vice-captain of the Indian team, has good dribbling skills and an eye for goal.
India, ranked 10th in the world, stunned No. 4 Britain 3-1 to finish third in the tournament.
Sardar, who turns 26 on July 15, will lead India in the London Olympics where they are drawn in Group B with Germany, Holland, South Korea, New Zealand and Belgium.
Group A comprises defending champions Australia, Spain, Britain, Argentina, Pakistan and South Africa.
India, eight-time Olympic champions, last won the gold in Moscow 1980.