Sandeep Singh (born 27 February 1986) is an Indian professional field hockey player from Haryana and an ex-captain of the Indian national hockey team. He generally features as a full back and is a penalty corner specialist for the team. He has been dubbed "Flicker Singh" in the media for his specialization of the drag-flick, one of the fastest in the world.
27 February 1986|
Shahabad, Haryana, India
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Last updated on: 21 January 2016|
Singh holds a DSP rank in the Haryana Police. He has been elected as MLA in 2019 from Pehowa constituency in Kurukshetra, Haryana from Bharatiya Janata Party and has been sworn in as the Sports Minister of the Haryana.
Singh hails from Shahabad town in Kurukshetra, Haryana. He was educated at Shivalik Public School, Mohali. Sandeep was born to Gurucharan Singh Saini and Daljeet Kaur Saini. Sandeep has an older brother, Bikramjeet, also a field hockey player who plays for Indian Oil.
Sandeep's international debut was in January 2004 in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur. He took over as the captain of the Indian national team in January 2009, and Rajpal Singh succeeded him later in 2010. Singh is a well known drag-flicker. At a time he was said to have the best speed in the world in drag flick (speed 145 km/h). Under his captaincy, the Indian team managed to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 after defeating Malaysia in the finals at Ipoh. India won the title after a long wait of 13 years. Singh was also the top goal scorer of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament.
The India men's national field hockey team have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after a gap of 8 years. The team had a resounding victory over France in the finals of the Olympic qualifiers by beating France 9–1. Ace drag-flicker Singh starred in the final against France by scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st minutes). Singh was the highest scorer of the Olympic qualifiers tournament by scoring 16 goals.
Sandeep Singh became the fifth highest-paid marquee player at the inaugural Hockey India League as the Mumbai franchise bought him for US$64,400 with his base price being US$27,800. The Mumbai team has been named Mumbai Magicians. Scoring 11 goals in 12 games, Singh emerged as the top scorer in the first edition of the league. In 2014, he was signed by Punjab Warriors. After playing two seasons for the team, he was signed by Ranchi Rays for US$81,000 in 2015 starting 2016.
In 2014, Singh relocated to the UK to play for Havant Hockey Club.
On 22 August 2006, Singh was seriously injured after being hit by an accidental gunshot in the Kalka Shatabdi Express train, while on his way to join the national team due to leave for the World Cup in Africa two days later. He was almost paralyzed and on the wheelchair for 1 year of his life. He was 20 at that time. Singh not only recovered from that serious injury but also established himself again and played world cup for India in 2010 Indian team.
- Sandeep Singh scored the most goals and won the Man of the Tournament award in the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
- Scoring 16 goals, Singh was the leading goal scorer in the qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics - scored five goals in the final.
- April 2004: Junior Asia Cup top scorer - scored 16 goals.
- 2008: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup - Sundeep was top scorer.
- 2009: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup - Sundeep was top scorer.
- 2010: Asia Games top scorer - scored 11 goals.
- 2010: World record for fastest drag flick - 145 km/h.
- 2013: Hockey India League - Top scorer - 11 goals in 12 games.
- 2014: Hockey India League - Top scorer - 11 goals.
- 2010: Arjuna Award recipient for achievements in field hockey.
- 2012: Olympic qualifier tournament gold medal.
- 2009: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup - Best Player.
In popular culture
Indian filmmaker Shaad Ali made a biographical film, titled Soorma (lit. 'Warrior'), based on Singh's life. Diljit Dosanjh played Sandeep Singh's role in the film. It was released on 13 July 2018. The film also stars Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi.
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