(Photo: © FIH)

Former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey announced his retirement from international hockey as he has been suffering from fitness related problems for quite a long time.


An emotional Tirky announced his decision in a choking voice at Kalings stadium in the presence of hundreds of his fans, sports lovers and athletes.


‘I took the decision to retire from international hockey because I have been suffering from fitness related problems for quite a long time. My legs are not fit and I don't think it is possible for me to return to the national squad in near future,’ said Tirkey.


Tirkey, who made his international debut in 1995 against England in the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup, did not play the recent Hero Honda FIH World Cup held here earlier this year.


The three-time Olympian and former India captain, Tirkey also said he was not satisfied with his international career.


‘I could not fulfill my dream of clinching the World Cup title and Olympic medals. I did not get the chance to play in World Cup and would not be able to play in the Commonwealth Games at home. This grudge will remain throughout my life,’ he said.


The defender said he consulted doctors and they said his muscles have weakened and there was no improvement even if he has taken a lot of rests in the past.


Tirkey, born 24 November 1977, in Orissa’s Sundergarh district, has come a long way since he had his international baptism as an 18-year-old.


He has three Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004), and as many World Cups, Asian Games and Asia Cups, and Champions Trophy tournaments behind him.


He was also honored with Padma Shri Award and Ekalabya award.


Source: IANS