Sandeep Michael passes away

Sandeep Michael passes away

Sandeep Michael

Former international hockey player Sandeep Michael, one of the brightest talents to emerge from Karnataka, passed away here on Friday following a brain infection. He was 33.

Sandeep had a meteoric rise, breaking into the Indian team as a teenager in 2002 and impressing one and all with his speed and ability to conjure spectacular goals. 

But his career at the top was all too brief while at the national level, he represented BPCL and Indian Airlines (later Air India) with distinction. After his playing days, Sandeep turned to coaching and was actively involved in the KSHA Hockey Academy. He would also help the underprivileged and poor children by supplying free sports kits and meeting their other needs.

Sandeep started his career in the environs of BEL Sports Complex, representing the BEL Colony Youth Association. He quickly rose up the ranks and was the captain of the Karnataka sub-junior team that emerged champion at the national championships in Bengaluru in 2000.

He donned the State colours in the junior and senior national championships and in late 2002, broke into the national team at the Rabobank 4-National tournament in the Netherlands. He was impressive at the three-nation tournament that followed in Australia the next year and represented the country in the 2003 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

He was soon in limelight, impressing in the matches against South Korea and Pakistan and as India won the title, he was adjudged the best potential player. He continued to play for the national hockey team up to 2006.

Sandeep's death cast a pall of gloom over the State hockey fraternity. His funeral is slated to take place on Saturday. Church Mass is at 10.00 am at Nativity Church, AMS Layout, Vidyaranyapura, followed by burial at Singapura Church Cemetery nearby, according to a release from Hockey Bengaluru.