Sunil, Deepika, Dharamvir recommended for Arjuna, Sardar for Khel Ratna

SV SunilNew Delhi: Hockey India (HI) on Monday recommended S.V. Sunil, Dharamvir Singh and Deepika for the Arjuna Award, Dr. R.P. Singh and Sumrai Tete for the Dhyan Chand Award and coaches Sandeep Sangwan and Romesh Pathania for the Dronacharya Award. Veteran midfielder Sardar Singh has also been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

Dr. R.P. Singh represented the country in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups. Tete, a former Indian women's team captain and coach, was also a member of the gold medal winning team at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Speaking on the recommendations, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, "We are delighted to recommend the hockey players who have proved their mettle against all odds on the turf and displayed extraordinary performances in India and abroad. With their passion and dedication for the sport, these players have done India proud by earning several accolades internationally. I truly believe they deserve every recognition and appreciation for the efforts they have put in bringing pride to the nation.

Sardar made his debut for India in the junior team during India's tour to Poland in 2003-04. In 2006, he graduated to the senior side making his debut against Pakistan. Known for his terrific fitness levels not only in India but worldwide, Sardar was included in the 18-man FIH All Star team in 2010 and 2011. Sardar was the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He has also received the Arjuna Award in 2012 and the Padma Shri Award in 2015.

Sunil has now become a vital cog for the senior men's team after putting in stellar performances in India's recent successes. The Karnataka forward, who made his senior international debut in the 2007 Asia Cup in Chennai, was also a part of the team that won the silver medal at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2008. The 2011 Champion's Challenge was an early high point in his career in which he scored three goals. Sunil also received the Asian Player of the Year Award 2016 by the Asian Hockey Federation.

With an international career spanning over a decade, Deepika's career includes appearances at the Commonwealth Games, World Cup as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics, a first time in 36 years in the history of women's hockey in the country. Deepika was also instrumental in India's maiden win at the 4th Women's Asian Champions Trophy last year.

Dharamvir Singh too has been an asset to the team and was part of the Asian Games Gold medal winning team along with the Silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Bronze medal at 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2015.

Sandeep is best known for serving as one of the coaches of the men's team, while Pathania also served as one of the coaches of the junior women's team.