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‘Amazed and honoured:’ Hardik reacts to his FIH Player of Year Award 2023 nomination

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Bengaluru: From getting ruled out of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela midway due to an injury, to winning the Asian Games Gold, 2023 has turned out to be a roller coaster year for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team midfielder Hardik Singh.

He has been nominated for the FIH Player of the Year Award 2023, making this year even more special for him, the Hockey India sources said.

“I’m both amazed and honoured to have been nominated for the FIH Player of the Year Award 2023. Receiving such recognition on an international stage is one of your dreams as a sportsperson. It certainly motivates you to do even better,” said an elated Hardik.

He did, however, admit that this was not his best year and that he could have done better.

“I’m ecstatic, but I wouldn’t say it was my best year. I could have done much better, especially during the World Cup, where an injury at such a crucial stage was heartbreaking. But, overall, I’m happy with how the year has gone for me, with the FIH Pro League campaign, the Asian Champions Trophy title and the Gold medal at the Asian Games,” he said.

With his flamboyance in the midfield and becoming one of the pivotal members of the Indian team in recent years, the 25-year-old has risen to prominence. He also served as Harmanpreet Singh’s deputy during the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 and the Asian Games 2023, where India won Gold medals.

Speaking about his transition into the leadership group, Hardik, who won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of the Year 2022 said, “I think I was ever ready for this opportunity.”

“I have learnt how to lead from the front from my seniors – Sardar Singh, PR Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh. I like to take responsibility, it helps me be the best version of myself and also helps in pushing my teammates to give their best on the pitch,” he added.

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