After Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra's retirements, forward SV Sunil has stepped away from international hockey as the 32-year-old took to Twitter to make the announcement. Having made his debut in 2007, he played for India in 264 matches and scored 72 goals in a career that spanned 14 years.
Veteran Indian striker SV Sunil has announced his retirement from international hockey on Friday. The Arjuna awardee from Coorg first played for India in the 2007 Asia Cup and helped the team beat Pakistan in the final. The 32-year-old hung his boots a day after Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra announced their retirements.
In a career spanning 14 years, he played 264 games for the country, scoring 72 goals.
"My body says I can still do it, my heart says go for it, but my mind says: Time to take a break. More than 14 years after I wore India colours for the first time, I've decided to make myself unavailable for the national camp which begins next week," said Sunil in a statement on Twitter.
"I will be lying to everyone, including myself, if I say I'm happy man. I always dreamt of helping my team to the podium at the Olympics and that would be the final hurrah. Unfortunately it was not to be. That my teammates won the bronze medal is a special feeling, epic truly, even if it's tinged with some sadness personally. But I know, this is the right decision.
"I will continue to be available to play the shorter form of the game and be involved with Indian hockey in any capacity the Hockey India wants me to," he added.
The biggest highlights of his career were the silver medals at 2016 and 2018 Champions Trophy.
Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningomba congratulated Sunil and said, "SV Sunil has been an inspiration to an entire generation of young hockey players. His commitment to the game and discipline was unmatched and he has given Indian hockey some very memorable performances. On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate him on a fantastic career. I wish him the very best for his future endeavours."