Parattu Ravindran Sreejesh is an Indian hockey player who was born on 8 May 1986 at Ernakulam in Kerala. He plays as a goalkeeper in the Indian men’s national hockey team. He has received the Arjuna Award in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2017 from the Government of India.
P. R. Sreejesh never aspired to become a hockey player. He used to train himself for sports such as sprinting, volleyball and long jump. It was his coach at GV Raja Sports School who told him to play hockey. Following his coach's advice, Sreejesh started playing hockey and has now become one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Sreejesh made his debut in Junior International Hockey in the year 2004 against Australia. His display of goalkeeping skills on the field was enough to fetch him a place in the senior team within a couple of months.
He made his senior debut at the 2006 South Asian Games in Colombo. Although his performance was good, he was fooled by the opponents a number of times in that tournament.
Rise to Glory
In his initial matches, Sreejesh was an average performer and used to play as a substitute player. However, the defence of a penalty stroke against Pakistan in the 2011 Asian Champions Trophy Final made him a national star. He has been a regular member of the national team since that match.
He worked a lot on his goalkeeping skills and this was reflected in his performance on the field. After the Asian Champions Trophy, he played an instrumental role in India's victory in the 2013 Asia Cup. He received the award for the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament in the Asia Cup.
One year later, he again impressed everyone with his attentiveness on the field in the 2014 Champions Trophy. Although India finished 4th in the tournament, Sreejesh bagged the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, leaving behind th e German and Australian goalkeepers.
At the 2014 Asian Games, Sreejesh again played a crucial role in India's victory. His decision-making ability on the field helped India to win the gold medal at the Incheon Asian Games.
His performance has improved over the years and in 2016, Sreejesh showed exquisite hockey skills in the Champions Trophy as well as the Rio Olympics. Team India won the silver medal at 2016 Champions Trophy while it reached the quarterfinals in the 2016 Olympics.
In 2018, he again proved his efficiency on the field by directing India to a silver medal in Breda Champions Trophy and a bronze medal in the Jakarta Asian Games.
Sreejesh played in an immature fashion in the initial days of his career. Hence, he was regularly made to sit on the bench. Despite giving great performances, he had to struggle a lot until 2011 after which he got a permanent place in the national team.
P. R. Sreejesh led the team to a silver medal in the 2016 Champions Trophy. Thereafter, he became the regular captain of the Indian hockey team. But due to lack of good performances by the team in the upcoming tournaments, he was replaced by Manpreet Singh as the captain.
Sreejesh used to play for Mumbai Magicians from 2013 to 2015 in the Hockey India League. He played a total of 12 matches for them.
In 2015, he was purchased by Uttar Pradesh Wizards and has been associated with the team since then. He has played 33 matches for UP Wizards until the 2017 season.