Glasgow: The Indian men’s hockey team has suffered a massive blow with captain Sardar Singh ruled out of the crucial men’s semifinal match against New Zealand on Saturday, after he was found guilty of unbecoming behavior.
The Indian skipper was reprimanded following his yellow card in the Pool A match against South Africa, when he went in for a sliding tackle, thus sitting out the closing five minutes of play.
Sardar was earlier reprimanded for hitting Eddie Ockenden on his face during the high-voltage India-Australia game. The FIH’s appeal jury took cognizance of his on-field behavior and slapped a two-game ban on him, which was reduced to one match after Hockey India raised the banner of protest.
India showed supreme form against South Africans, winning the match by an impressive 5-2 margin. They had earlier gone down fighting to world champions Australia 2-4, after winning their first two games against Wales and Scotland by 3-1 and 6-2 margins respectively.
Sardar played a crucial part in all these good performances, and his absence will surely hurt the team in the semifinals.