Patiently waited for my chance: Sharmila

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 18, 2024 IST

Sharmila Devi

New Delhi, June 18: Comebacks are hard but not impossible. When the talent pool is huge and newcomers perform well, it becomes a tough challenge for out of favour players to make a comeback in sports. But few do wait with immense patience and perform consistently to earn back their place.

Indian women's hockey team forward Sharmila Devi, who made her return after close to nine months in the national side, reflected on the time away from the side and said she stayed mentally strong and patiently waited for her chance while working hard on her game.

After representing the country last in May 2023 during a test series against Australia, Sharmila found herself playing in Indian colours after close to nine months when she took the field against China in February 2024 during the FIH Pro League 2023-24.

Speaking about how she endured such a long time away from the national side, the young forward from Haryana said, "It wasn’t easy. I didn’t get to play for the national side for close to nine months. After the test series against Australia, I got to play for the team in the FIH Hockey Pro League in February 2024, missing out on the Asian Games and Olympic Qualifiers. Those were trying times but I stayed strong mentally and patiently waited for my chance while training hard."

Sharmila was determined to make a comeback into the national side and worked on her game during her time away from the side.

 “I worked on my game day in and day out. I wanted to become the best player I could be. I was very clear that that was the only way back and that I had to give it my all. So that’s exactly what I did. While working on my skills as a forward, I also worked on the defensive aspects of the game," Hockey India quoted Sharmila as saying.

Describing her comeback game against China as a joyous moment, she said, “I was more than excited to be wearing the Indian jersey once again. It felt very rewarding for all the work that was put in. I would have been happier if we had won that game but it was unfortunately not meant to be.”

The Indian women’s team played out several matches that had spectators on the edge of their seats during the FIH Pro League 2023-24. One such match was the game against Great Britain which India lost 2-3 after putting up a splendid fight with Sharmila netting India’s second goal of the game.

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