Fully fit Gurwinder Chandi eyes Hockey India League for national comeback
He is one striker, who is cooling his heels in wilderness after injuries have had dented his participation in the national side. Gurwinder Singh Chandi – once a regular face in the Indian forward line – sustained an ankle injury, which forced him out of the side for more than a year and a half – he made a national comeback at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and also featured in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games before going off the selectors’ radar. “The ankle injury was a prolonged one – I had to miss so many tournaments in 2013 and first half of 2014 and then before the 2014 Test Series in Australia I had an issue with my groin and took rest. But I’m fully fit now and regularly playing in various domestic tournaments,” he says in an informal chat.
There is a general feeling that Chandi is out of the team on injury grounds but the nippy forward is fit as a fiddle. “I cannot say anything about my selection in the national team. I’m doing fine and have played in domestic tourneys like Maharaja Ranjit Singh Tournament, Mumbai Super League, Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup and Bengaluru for ONGC. There is no injury issue now,” says Chandi, who is thrilled to bits at India bagging a bronze medal in an FIH-sanctioned event after a gap of 33 years. “I’m really happy for the team – they put up such a strong performance. I want to congratulate all the team members and coaching support,” quips the 26-year-old who got married to Indian international runner Manjeet Kaur a few months back. “It was an arranged marriage. My wife is a DSP in Haryana Police and served the country with distinction in athletics.
Chandi, who made his senior international debut in a Four-Nation Tourney in Australia in 2008, is now focusing on the 2016 Hockey India League. “I’m really excited about the 2016 Hockey India League - I will be playing for Jaypee Punjab Warriors for the first time after a stint with Delhi Waveriders. It will be an opportunity for me to make a strong impact performance-wise and return to the national fold,” he signs off.
The Indian forward line have thrown up many concerning areas at the recent world league and that department will be further bolstered with the return of Chandi.