This is one story that will be etched in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup's history. It is the tale of 23-year-old Manpreet Singh, who loves hockey.
One of India’s mainstays in the midfield, Manpreet was ready to start again Japan in the opening match at the Azlan Shah stadium. But, few hours before the starting whistle, his world turned upside down.
Manpreet was forced to return to India after the sudden demise of his father. He immediately rushed back to be with his family.
Australia wore black armbands
In what was an emotional day for Manpreet Singh, Australia paid a heart-warming tribute during the match against India.
Australia stepped on to the turf wearing black armbands in memory of his father. The players observed a minute’s silence before their match.
In Manpreet's absence, the Indian midfield lost its charm against World champions Australia and went on to lose 1-5.
He knew India needed him
Manpreet knew his father was gone. He knew India needed him in the next game against Canada. To fulfill his father's dreams, he came back for India’s next game against Canada on April 10.
This just shows how big a team man he is. Only someone with remarkable passion and love for the game can go ahead and do something like this.
The 23-year-old said, “I have done my duties here, and I am thankful to the team and everyone involved for supporting me in this time.”
For Manpreet, India comes above everything
"My teammates are like my brothers, and at this time, I want to go there and be with them and support them as they have supported me,” added Manpreet.
This was an act of great commitment to Hockey India and his return turned out to be crucial as India defeated Canada 3-1 in the third game.
In the next game, Manpreet opened the scoring for India as India went on to register their biggest win over arch-rivals Pakistan. His form will play a critical role in India making a deep run in Rio de Janerio.