Indian Hockey captain Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (PR Sreejesh) celebrates his 32d birthday on May 08, 2020 (Friday). A man with the safest pair of hands in hockey universe in current times, Sreejesh surprisingly started as a sprinter and wanted to conquer the world of tracks before being introduced to hockey at the age of 12. He is not only the skipper of the Indian hockey team but is the most dependable goalkeeper in the country. Yet when Sreejesh started out with the senior team he termed the role ‘as a crazy job’ and that ‘not something a normal person would do.’ As the captain of the Indian hockey team, Sreejesh has led India to two Champions Trophy silver medal in 2016 & 2018, a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games and two Asian Champions Trophy gold medals. Hockey India Invites Expression of Interest to Host 2021 National Championships.

Starting out as a young kid in Kerala’s Ernakulam village, Sreejesh was a powerful sprinter, a good long jumper and also volleyball. He moved to St. Joseph High School in Kizhakkambalam, almost 200kms away from his village and that is where he was introduced to hockey by Jayakumar and Ramesh Kolappa, coaches of the school’s hockey team. On his 32nd birthday, take a look at some lesser-known facts about the Indian hockey captain.

  • PR Sreejesh was born as Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh to P. V. Raveendran and Usha on May 08, 1988 in Kochi, kerala
  • PR Sreejesh is the first Hockey player from Kerala to win the Arjuna Award
  • Sreejesh started as a sprinter then moved on to Long Jump and Volleyball before finally taking up Hockey
  • PR Sreejesh was awarded 'Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament' at 2008 Junior Asia Cup
  • PR Sreejesh was appointed the Indian Hockey Team captain on July 13, 2016
  • Sreejesh was captain of the Indian team that won the silver medal at 2016 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy
  • Sreejesh is married to Aneeshya, a former Long Jumper, and they have a six-year-old daughter

Sreejesh made his senior India debut at the 2006 South Asian Games and although he impressed most with his performance throughout the tournament, his costly error that helped arch-rivals Pakistan score the decisive goal in the final saw him fall down the ladder.

He was dropped to the junior team and he bounced back by winning the ‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ at the 2008 Junior Asian Cup. Sreejesh was recalled into the senior team in 2011 and he helped India win the Asian Champions Trophy with two penalty strokes save to complete his redemption. Sreejesh hasn’t looked back since and is expected to lead the Indian hockey team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Happy Birthday Captain!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 08, 2020 08:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website