FORMER India hockey captain Sardar Singh last Saturday (3) claimed that former coach Sjoerd Marijne and current high-performance director David John forced him to make
a shock retirement in September.

The veteran singled out an incident which took place last year during India’s triumphant campaign in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, where he was called to John’s room in the presence of Marijne.

“I was called to his (John’s) room just before the match against Pakistan in Asia Cup. The
coach (Marijne) was also there. He (John) said I committed mistakes and I was playing a lot of individual game. Just before an important match I was called to be told this. You could imagine how I was feeling, he could have told me later,” the star midfielder claimed.

After the Asian Games, Sardar was not named among the probables for the Asian
Champions Trophy in Oman, forcing him to think about his future.

“I was dropped from important tournaments, the World Hockey League and Commonwealth
Games. I thought I will be brought back, I was sent with a junior team in Malaysia. I slowly began questioning myself what is going on. After the Asian Games, I was thinking of continuing till the 2020 Olympics. I was very fit, one of the fittest in the team. But then I decided to quit (after being dropped again),” he said.

Sardar also said that he was not told the reasons each time he was left out. “There was a lot of change of players, far too many changes before important tournaments. Moreover, you have to tell the reasons to the players. Sadly, it was not done,” he said.