Sardar Singh: Narinder Batra has played hockey, he'll serve the game well

Updated: Nov 14, 2016, 10:16 IST | Ashwin Ferro |

India hockey star Sardar Singh says new FIH president's experience of having played the game at domestic level in India will help him achieve success in promoting it globally

Newly-appointed FIH president Narinder Batra speaks during the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai, UAE on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
Newly-appointed FIH president Narinder Batra speaks during the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai, UAE on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images

While the rest of the world hailed Narinder Batra for his administrative skills and business acumen after he was elected International Hockey Federation (FIH) president on Saturday, India's hockey hero Sardar Singh put things in perspective in simple terms, just like he plays his hockey.

University-level player
"Batraji has played the game at school level and then at University too, so he knows the intricacies of hockey. He has been the best person to take the game forward in India, and is the ideal man to help the game succeed internationally too," Sardar told mid-day over the phone from Bangalore where India are preparing for a four-nation tournament in Australia later this month.

The 30-year-old immensely skillful midfielder said that Hockey India president Batra's animated discussions with the Indian players and coaches show his passion for the game.

Good communicator
"He always enjoys interacting with us and shares his inputs regarding the game, which I find very interesting, more often than not. He gets very excited when we win and is equally disappointed when we don't perform well. I'm sure he will have already charted a plan to develop the game internationally," added Sardar.

Sardar Singh. Pic/Getty Images
Sardar Singh. Pic/Getty Images

Finally, the two-time FIH all-star team member, said the game can only thrive internationally given the manner in which

Batra has brought in professionalism in Indian hockey. "Ever since Hockey India was formed (in 2009), the game has been well-looked after. Money has come into the sport and players have become financially comfortable. The Indian team — men, women and juniors — have had numerous international trips and done well.

Batraji, now has plans to take the game to far corners of the world. It will be great if more teams play hockey. That can only improve hockey internationally, while back home too the game is simultaneously looking up," Sardar signed off.

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