Harmanpreet Singh plays milestone 200th international match vs the Netherlands
Harmanpreet played a pivotal role in India's Olympic bronze, and Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games gold medal-winning shows in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Indian captain and drag-flicking specialist Harmanpreet Singh completed his 200 international caps for India when the Men in Blue took on the Netherlands in its second match of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Harmanpreet made his debut in 2015 and has been a pivotal figure in the Indian defence ever since.
He won the gold medal with the Indian junior men's team at the 2015 Junior Asia Cup in Malaysia later that year before clinching the gold medal at the 2016 Junior World Cup.
This was followed by a silver medal at the 2016 Champions Trophy in London. He then went on to win the gold medal in the 2017 Asia Cup in Bangladesh before helping India finish third at the 2016-17 FIH World League.
Harmanpreet, in 2018, won the silver medal at the Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands, the bronze medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta and the gold at the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman.
Harmanpreet, a key member of India's Olympic bronze medal-winning team at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, played a pivotal role in India's Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games gold medal-winning shows in 2022 and 2023.
When asked about his monumental achievement, the 28-year-old said, "It is indeed a great honour to be able to represent India in 200 international matches. I am incredibly grateful to my family, friends, teammates and support staff for the amount of love and support they have given me. I will continue to do my best every time I step onto the field and give it my all.”
Congratulating Harmanpreet on achieving this milestone, Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said, "A hearty congratulations to Harmanpreet on representing India in 200 matches. He has made everyone proud with the efforts he puts into this game and deserves all the accolades that come his way. It is a matter of great joy to have such an individual serve our country and this game tirelessly for years together and we are sure that he will continue to do so for years to come.”
Gurjant Singh earns 100th international cap
Meanwhile, Gurjant Singh achieved his career milestone of completing 100 international caps during the match.
Gurjant, a 29-year-old forward hailing from Amritsar, made his debut for India in 2017, quickly establishing himself as a pivotal member of the squad.
A celebrated player, Gurjant played a crucial role in the team's triumph, securing the bronze medal at the Olympics in Tokyo, where he showcased his skills in seven matches and netted three goals.