Hockey: Asia Cup in 2017 was turning point of my career, want to emulate skipper Rani

Indian women’s hockey team forward Lalremsiami has described the 2017 Asia Cup as the turning point of her career and said she aspires to keep playing alongside and emulate her favourite player, skipper Rani.

The 20-year-old Lalremsiami has played a part in many important victories for India, including the FIH Women’s Series Finals and FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers last year.

“The Asia Cup 2017 was one among the first international competitions for me and therefore it was very important for me to perform in the tournament,” she said in a Hockey India release.

“My confidence and belief in my game increased after playing well in the competition. We qualified for the 2018 World Cup after winning that tournament as well, so therefore the Asia Cup 2017 will always remain special for me.”

The forward, who has played 64 matches for India, said captain Rani has had a huge impact on her.

“I used to watch Rani di and other senior players on TV before joining the Indian team. Therefore, it’s just brilliant to be playing alongside a player like Rani.

“She is my favourite player and I hope to become a player like her someday,” he said.

“She has always been there for me. Whenever I have any issue with my game, I have always asked Rani di and she taught me Hindi as well when I had joined the Indian team for the first time. I hope to play alongside Rani for a long time.”

Lalremsiami, who learned the basics of hockey at the Mizoram government-run academy in Thenzawl, is delighted to see the growth of the sport in the northeast.

“Hockey has certainly grown in the North East in the last few years. We have Sushila Chanu in our team, who has featured in over 150 games for India.

“Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Nilakanta Sharma and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam have also played many matches for the Indian men’s hockey team.

“I am sure if we keep performing for our teams, the youngsters in the northeast will be inspired to take up the sport and hockey will grow even further in the region.”