Baljit Saini to retire after current season

Updated: 03 January 2009 16:07 IST

Former India hockey player and Olympian Baljit Singh Saini has decided to retire from domestic circuit after the current season.

Baljit Saini to retire after current season

Kolkata:

Former India hockey player and Olympian Baljit Singh Saini has decided to retire from domestic circuit after the current season.

Having represented India in 304 matches, which also include two Olympics representations -- in Atlanta (1996), where India finished eighth and Sydney (2000), Baljit had retired from the international hockey in 2004, although he continued playing for his team Punjab and Sind Bank.

"I was still fit. I was thinking of retirement last season but continued playing. But it's high time that I should retire.

"I've decided to call it quits finally after the end of this season. Hence this is my last stint in Beighton Cup," Saini said after his side defeated Tamil Nadu XI 2-1 in the quarter-final league on Saturday.

The 32-year-old mid-fielder is pondering about taking up coaching after hanging his boots.

"I want to take up coaching after my career gets over later this year as I am really keen on the job. I am in touch with FIH (the international body) for online coaching courses," Saini said.

Saini made his international debut during the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup in 1995.

Saini was also member of India team which clinched gold medals in the 1998 Bangkok Asiad and 2003 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

"My best performance was against Pakistan in the SAAF Games final where I was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match," Saini said.

Saini's first claim to fame was in 1997 when he led India in Junior World Cup to silver medal at Milton Keynes, England.



Topics : Hockey
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