"I was not sure if I could come back again for the Indian team," says Chinglensana Singh after national team return
What's the story?
After staying away from the game for a year, Chinglensana Singh expressed his delight over earning his place back in the Indian national hockey team. The Arjuna Awardee mentioned that he had gained a lot of weight during his injury break hence, he was unsure if he could ever come back to the national side.
Chinglensana Singh had picked up an ankle injury while leading Manipur to the title in the 9th Senior Hockey National Championships. He was off the field until October, however his good performances after the recovery has earned him his place back in the national team. Hockey India had announced India's squad for the FIH Pro League matches against The Netherlands on Monday (13th January) and Chinglensana was among the 20 players named in the team.
The heart of the matter
Talking to PTI on Wednesday (15th January), Chinglensana reflected on the most difficult phase of his career. He said:
"It was a very difficult phase for me. I was not allowed to use my lower body much which resulted in me gaining about 5-6 kilos. I was not sure if I could come back again for the Indian team."
He further revealed how he felt during the recovery stage and the routine he followed to stay in shape. Singh continued:
"I didn't play hockey for about eight months but I never gave up hope. During this period I ensured I stayed fit, followed a systematic routine provided by our scientific advisor Robin Arkel which involved gym, cycling and I followed a strict diet. It was important to ensure my weight was under control and as such I had given up on rice completely."
When asked about his feelings over receiving a call-up to the national team, Chinglensana replied:
"I am happy to earn the India jersey again. It is important for me to make this opportunity count and give my 100 per cent in the midfield. With a good talent pool available, every player has to prove his place in the team and I am no different. I see this as a fresh start for me and I am looking forward to a good start against the Netherlands."
The Indian hockey team will collide with the Dutch at the Kalinga Stadium on 18th and 19th January. It will be interesting to see if Chinglensana Singh makes it to the match squad.