Our goal is to leave China with no regrets, says forward Abhishek ahead of Hangzhou Asian Games

AbhishekBengaluru: Abhishek began his hockey career on a grass pitch under the tutelage of a Hindi teacher, and his selection to the Indian Men's Hockey Team for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 is a testament to his dedication. The 24-year-old is upbeat as he prepares for the biggest Asian tournament of his career.

"I am ecstatic to have been named to the squad, and I am eager to give my all on the pitch. The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 is a big tournament, and we're preparing accordingly. We'll play with confidence, and our goal is to leave China with no regrets at the end of the tournament," Abhishek said of his selection.

When Abhishek was 9 years old, his school teacher Shamsher Singh encouraged him to pick up the stick while he was studying in Sonepat, Haryana, and he has shown no signs of slowing down since then. He has scored 18 goals in 48 appearances, so far.

"I played on grass for the first ten years of my career, and the first time I played on turf was when I transferred to the National Hockey Academy (NHA) for a couple of years. That period of my career was memorable; I competed in the U-18 Asia Cup from the National Hockey Academy and made the Junior Indian Men's Hockey Team in 2017. After that, I joined the Punjab National Bank Hockey Team in 2018 and played there for three years before making it to the Indian Men's Hockey Team based on my performance in the 1st Hockey India Senior Men Inter-Department National Championship 2021 in Bangalore," Abhishek said of his career thus far.

Abhishek made his debut in the 2021-22 FIH Hockey Pro League and went on to make a name for himself on the big stage, winning two Players of the Match awards during the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar - Rourkela.

When asked about his team's preparations for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, Abhishek stated, "We will face some good teams, and we are working very hard in training to make sure we are in the best physical and mental shape when we step onto the pitch."

India are placed in Pool A of the 9th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, along with Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

"My teammates and coaches are all eager to help me; they encourage me and support me in moving forward quickly if I make any mistakes in training. I often turn to Mandeep and Lalit for support if I have any concerns about the structure; they are always willing to talk on and off the pitch,” Abhishek explained about the team's camaraderie.