Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh expressed hope before Hockey World Cup 2023, said- will be on top
India’s experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has made a special statement as he prepares to play in the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup. Looking at the previous matches, he has expressed hope that the Indian team can remain on top this time. India will start the tournament from 13 January.
Rourkela. Gearing up to play their fourth and third FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup on home soil, veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels his team can do better than their quarter-final finish in the last edition and even this time around. Could make it to the top of the podium. The prestigious Hockey World Cup begins here on Friday. India topped their pool in the 2018 tournament after winning two matches and drawing one but lost 2-1 to the then runners-up Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
The tournament was then played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar which is also one of the two venues this time. Ahead of India’s Group D match against Spain on Friday, Sreejesh said, “It is a great honor for me to play my fourth World Cup for my country and more importantly, it is my third World Cup on home soil.” I don’t think any player has had the fortune of playing three World Cups at home. He said that in 2018 we could not reach the semi-finals. Now we have another chance to change our luck in this prestigious competition. Hopefully we will be able to improve on our previous performance and finish at the top.
India has not finished on the podium in 48 years since winning gold at the 1975 tournament in Kuala Lumpur under the captaincy of Ajit Pal Singh. The 34-year-old Sreejesh, the most experienced player in the squad after Manpreet Singh, said results matter more than how many times you play in the World Cup. Sreejesh, who played a key role in India’s bronze medal win at the Tokyo Olympics, said, “I have always felt that it does not matter how many times you play a tournament, it is more important whether you win it or not.” This time also it is important for me to give my 100 per cent and get the desired results from the tournament.
Sreejesh, who was adjudged FIH’s Goalkeeper of the Year, recalled when he was handed the keeper’s duty by the head coach against arch-rivals Pakistan in New Delhi in 2010 in his first World Cup appearance. He said that my first match in the World Cup was against Pakistan. I still remember During the team meeting, our coach had said that Pakistan would come fully prepared for goalkeeper Adrian (D’Souza), so he decided to field me in the match against him. Sreejesh said that when he asked me to play, the feeling of getting a chance was unbelievable. It was a dream come true to play my first World Cup match against Pakistan in front of a packed home ground. I can still feel the atmosphere, how the stadium was, how the people reacted and how we won that match. It was the best moment for me.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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