Hockey legend from Odisha and former captain of Indian hockey team Dilip Tirkey on Sunday filed his nomination papers for the post of president of Hockey India.

The nomination of Tirkey was proposed by V Sunil Kumar, president of Kerala Hockey, and seconded by Arun Saraswat, president of Hockey Rajasthan.

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Dilip Tirkey, Former Captain of Indian Hockey

Tirkey, who made his international debut in 1995 against England and represented India in three Olympics– Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), and Athens (2004), has a total of 412 international caps. He has also represented India in several World Cups, Asian Games, Asia Cups, and Champions Trophies.

After his retirement from international hockey in 2010, Tirkey was elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed in 2012 as one of three BJD nominees. He is currently serving as the chairman of the Odisha Hockey Promotion Council which works for the development of grassroots hockey in the state. Tirkey also played a key role when the state government successfully hosted the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018.

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Dilip Tirkey on talks with reporters

“As a former player, I better understand the game, issues of the players, administrative issues, and other aspects of hockey. I am sure I am the best option to lead Hockey India for the overall development of Indian Hockey,” Tirkey said.

Born on November 24th, 1977 in Sundargarh district of Odisha, Tirkey said he has received assurance of support from several state associations like West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Puducherry, and others.

Hockey India is expected to get a new president by October 9th as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) of Hockey India have decided to conclude the election process of the national hockey federation by that time.

Ajay Nayak, the former chief electoral officer of the government of Bihar has been appointed as the returning officer to conduct the poll while AK Majumdar has been appointed as the assistant returning officer for the purpose.

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By Aakash Malhotra

Poet and a Storyteller