The Indian Men’s Hockey team’s Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh completed a remarkable 200 International Caps on Saturday.
He achieved this milestone in India’s second round-robin match here at the ongoing 5th Men’s Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018.
The stalwart Goalkeeper, who hails from Kerala, is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world due to his heroic efforts over the years in between the posts.
Sreejesh made his International debut for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka.
He was later awarded as the “Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament” at the 2008 Junior Asia Cup where India won the Gold Medal.
In the presence of experienced Goalkeepers, a young Sreejesh made drastic improvements to his game and became a regular fixture in the national team since 2011, the year in which he made two match winning saves in the Final of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy against Pakistan to help India win the inaugural edition of the tournament.
The man from Kerala was crowned as the “Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament” at the 2013 Men’s Asia Cup where India won the Silver Medal.
A stalwart in front of goal, the 30-year-old has represented the nation at the 2014 World Cup, 2012 & 2016 Olympic Games, but his best performances in an Indian shirt came in the year 2014 after which he was also nominated for the Best Male Goalkeeper award by FIH.
Sreejesh won the “Goalkeeper of the Tournament” award in the 2014 edition of the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy and saved two Penalty Strokes in the Final match of the 2014 Asian Games against Pakistan to give his team the Gold Medal.
The year 2016 saw PR Sreejesh transform into one of the best Goalkeepers in the world as he led India to the Silver Medal at the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy in London.
A long-term injury saw Sreejesh miss most of last year’s action but the experienced Goalkeeper has performed exceptionally since coming back early this year, contributing majorly to the Silver Medal winning campaign at the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy 2018 and the Bronze Medal finish at the 18th Asian Games.
“It is an honour for me to be completing 200 International Matches for India as it is something I never dreamed of as a child.
I have always taken pride in representing the country at the highest level, and to be doing that for the 200th time tonight, it feels special and I hope to help the team in finishing victorious in this special match of my career.
The journey has not been easy as I have had to make several sacrifices and have faced long-term injuries, but I would like to thank my family, my teammates, support staff and Hockey India, for always having faith in me and for encouraging me to put my best step forward,” expressed an emotional PR Sreejesh.
Congratulating the 30-year-old, Mr Rajinder Singh, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate PR Sreejesh for completing 200 International Caps for India.
This is a crucial milestone in his career as Sreejesh has always been a fully dedicated player for the Indian Hockey Team.
The support that he provides to the defensive unit, and the insights that he gives to the forwards, is something that we all admire about him.
Apart from this, the most critical aspect of his career has been that the team has always been able to rely on him when they faced pressure from the oppositions on the field.
It is no surprise that Sreejesh has played a vital part in the team’s success over the past few years, and we all look forward to seeing him deny the oppositions in the future tournaments.”