New Delhi: Indian men’s hockey team captain Sardar Singh and former skipper of the national women’s side Saba Anjum were on Monday conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a glittering ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Both Sardar as well as Saba received the Arjuna Award in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The 28-year-old Sardar made his debut for the senior team against Pakistan in 2006 and since then he has played more than 200 international matches and has successfully contributed towards Indian hockey.

Sardar is also the most sought-after player in the prestigious Hockey India League.

Saba, on the other hand, was one of the most prominent forwards and represented India in the 2002 Asian Games, 2004 Asia Cup, Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006 and Junior World Cup in 2001.

Congratulating the duo on the honour, Hockey India president Narinder Batra siad: “Hockey India is delighted and proud of both Sardar Singh and Saba Anjum for being conferred with the Padma Shri Award today. Sardar has been contributing selflessly to the national team and Indian hockey since he started playing for the country and under his leadership India won the gold at the Asian Games last year.

“Hockey India also congratulates Saba, who was one of the most prominent forwards of India and the world. Hockey India takes pride in congratulating both of them on this auspicious day.”

A delighted and proud Sardar Singh said: “It is a great honour for me and I would take this opportunity to thank Hockey India for giving me the support which boosted my morale. Also, I must give credit of my success to the coaches, who have guided me and tirelessly worked with me during my journey in hockey.”

Saba added: “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award from the President of India. I take this opportunity to thank Hockey India and the Government of India for recognising my efforts and hard work. I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and my family for my success and achievements in my journey.”

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