Former India women’s hockey player, Anurita Saini passed away earlier this week after a battle with jaundice. She was 60 years old.
Saini was a part of the Asian Games gold medal winning Indian team in the year 1982. Reports suggest that she breathed her last at the Central Railway hospital in New Delhi where she was admitted since the past one month after being identified of jaundice.
Born in an army family in Faizabad, Saini started playing the sport at the KD Singh Stadium in Lucknow.
Asian Games 1982 winner team (Source: Anurita Saini/Facebook)
“She used to be funny as well as supportive to everyone off the field, but never compromised with her game. Her approach to the game was special. It was something to learn from for the rest of the girls,” said Prem Maya, her captain and hostel mate in Lucknow.
Playing as a right-half, Saini was known for her tackling and passing prowess. Her performance in the India’s Asian medal winning effort earned her a lot of praises. The 1982 Asian gold medal is the only time Indian women’s hockey team had won a gold in the Asiads.
Tearful adieu to Anurita Saini madam. She won gold at the 1982 Asian Games, hailed from Delhi /Lucknow. RIP pic.twitter.com/JEAIGaqiR6
— stick2hockey.com (@indianhockey) December 17, 2020
Besides, she was also a key member of the Indian side during the 1983 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.
After her retirement, Saini also served as the assistant coach and manager of the Indian women’s hockey team from the year 2002 to 2006.