Manpreet Singh is an Indian field hockey player and is currently the Indian Men’s National Field Hockey team’s Captain since May 2017. He plays in the halfback position. Manpreet first played for India in 2011 when he was 19-year-old. His big moment arrived in 2012 when he was selected to represent India at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was adjudged as Asia’s Junior Player of the Year in 2014. He will be captaining India into the upcoming Men’s Hockey World Cup as well.
|Full Name||Manpreet Singh Pawar|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.66m)|
|Age||28 years (26 June 1992)|
Manpreet Singh Biography
Manpreet Singh Pawar was born in a farmer’s family in Mithapur near Jalandhar. It is said that Singh took a hockey stick first before a pencil. His two elder brothers, unsurprisingly, are hockey players as well. He was particularly attracted to the prize money that his siblings won. However, it was Pargat Singh, the former captain of the Indian hockey team, to pursue a career in hockey. Pargat also hails from Jalandhar and currently as a DSP there.
His mother, Manjit, had a certain degree of inhibitions though. She was especially sceptical about broken noses and face, like his brothers.
However, Manpreet was stubborn about hockey. It was only when the ten-year-old managed to earn an Rs. 500 in prize money for his first hockey victory did his mother subside and allowed her son to join hockey academy. That solitary decision was enough to change the youngster’s fortunes.
Soon, in 2005, Manpreet commenced his training at Surjit Hockey Academy, Jalandhar. The academy is recognized as one of India’s best institutes when it comes to producing national hockey talent. And there was another international player in the making.
Six years down the lane and Manpreet had already made his international debut.
Playing for India
His ability to dominate opponent’s wingers, agility and pace is what made him a unique performer in the halfback position. With an explosive speed, he could easily return back from attacking positions. As a result, Manpreet has become a mainstay in India’s hockey team ever since.
Following his debut in 2011, Manpreet went on to feature in the Indian Team that participated at the 2012 London Olympics. Unfortunately, though, India had a dismal performance of on the grandest stage of hockey, finishing last in the groups’ table after losing all their six matches.
Manpreet was also a part of the team that went to the Netherlands for the 2014 World Cup. That competition was disappointing as well, as the Indian team finished 5th in the Pool A above Malaysia.
However, much bigger things awaited the youngster and his side. In the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Indian team finished second in the Pool A of the preliminary round, only behind Australia. In the final match of the group stage against South Africa, they had put 5 goals past South Africa, one of which was scored by Manpreet Singh.
Ahead of the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, Captain Manpreet Singh discusses his temperament of leading the side and highlights on the challenging matches the team will encounter in the group stage of the tournament.#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/qewepZOH5N— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 20, 2018
In the Indian side closely edged past New Zealand 3-2 before ultimately losing out to the eventual gold winners Australia. This was their only second medal at the Commonwealth Games, with the first one coming at home in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
2018 Asian Games
The Men’s hockey team rounded off the successful year with a gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Games. In the finale, they had trounced arch-rivals Pakistan by 4-2 to make the victory even sweeter.
Two years later, Manpreet was instrumental for his side’s silver medal win at the 2016 Men’s Hockey Championships in London.
As Manpreet was getting more exposure to these world-class events, he started displaying one important facet of the game – leadership. Although he was among the youngest in the squad, Manpreet’s maturity and temperament on turf belied his age. The national selectors were silently making the note of this fact.
Manpreet’s big chance came in the 2017 Asia Cup when India’s reigning captain PR Sreejesh sustained an injured right before the tournament. The selectors were looking to someone who can temporarily take the captaincy until Sreejesh returned. And they found no one better than Manpreet.
The 25-year-old had an instant impact. Under his stewardship, the side not only went on to top the group but they eventually win the trophy as well. They beat Malaysia by 2-1 with Ramandeep and Upadhyay scoring a goal each.
By the stunning win, he had returned the favour that the selector’s had done by showing faith in him. He soon consolidated his place as Indian hockey team’s captain.
Manpreet also successfully steered India to a bronze medal at the 2017 Hockey World League Final. Earlier this year, under his guidance the team also won the Asian Champion’s Trophy with bitter Pakistan.
At the start of his career, Manpreet Singh started plied his trade as a forward. As a result, he had developed outstanding sprint skills and agility during his schooling days. Years later, when he decided to change his playing position to that of a halfback, these were the skills that made him a player to beat. Manpreet’s abilities to force through-balls that pierce even the mightiest defenders make him special too.
Manpreet Singh was paid $ 61,000 to play for Ranchi Rhinos in the Hockey India League.
Manpreet Singh was born in the Mithapur area near Jalandhar to Although, initially, his mother Manjit and his brothers were against him playing hockey, he eventually convinced them by his talent and grit.
In the 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, just before the match against Japan, Singh received a heartbreaking news – the sudden demise of his father. He not only went on to complete the last rites but also returned back to play in the match where India registered their biggest win over Pakistan.
Manpreet also has two elder brothers named Amandeep and Sukhraj, both of whom are well-established hockey players.
Manpreet got engaged to Illi Najwa Saddique (or Navpreet), a Malaysian of Pakistan descent, whom he met after one of his matches. After having known each other for 8 years, the two got married on December 16, 2020. The wedding took place at a gurdwara at Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar in Jalndhar.
Telling more about the love tale, Manpreet said:
“We met in 2012 when I had gone to Malaysia for the Sultan of Johor Cup. She was among the spectators. We had a brief interaction and I was carried away by her charm. I managed to get her phone number and stayed in touch. We got engaged in February 2014.”
- Silver at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
- Gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games
- Silver at the 2016 Men’s Hockey Championships in London
- Gold at the 2017 Asia Cup
- Bronze at the 2017 Hockey World League
- Silver at the 2018 Champions Trophy
- Bronze at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games
- Gold at the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy
- Arjuna Award 2018
- TOISA 2018