Akashdeep Singh was Indian hockeya goal-scoring machine since his debut in 2012.
A dip in form saw him drop out of India’s squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but Akashdeep Singh returned.
After the Tokyo scandal, Indian hockey player went back to the drawing board and has since added many facets to his already impressive skill set.
In his new avatar, Akashdeep Singh can now step back as a sidekick if the situation calls for it. The change helped Akashdeep Singh, first and foremost a striker, reassert his place in the Indian squad.
Akashdeep Singh is a member of India’s 18-man squad for the 2023 FIH Hockey World Cup and is the only player other than PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh to have over 200 caps for the national team. Akashdeep Singh also scored over 80 goals for India.
Where Akashdeep Singh was born
Akashdeep Singh was born on December 2, 1994 in the village of Verowal in Tarn Taran District, Punjab, India. His father Surinder Pal Singh worked as a police inspector in Punjab while his younger brother Prabhdeep Singh is also a hockey player and has represented India internationally.
Akashdeep Singh studied at Baba Gurmukh Singh Baba Uttam Singh High School in Tarn Taran District. He started playing hockey in school when he reached the fourth grade. Akashdeep Singh initially also played for Guru Angad Dev Sports Club.
Recognizing his abilities, Akashdeep Singh’s parents sent him at the age of 12 to the PAU Hockey Academy in Ludhiana to hone his skills.
For further training, Akashdeep Singh then moved to Surjit Hockey Academy in Jalandhar and stayed there for four years. Top goalscorer and adept at dealing with pressure in critical situations, he excelled in national and domestic competitions.
In 2011, Akashdeep Singh became the captain of the Indian junior hockey team. He led India to a bronze medal at the 2011 Asian Youth Cup held in Malaysia.
A year later, Akashdeep Singh made his debut for India at the 2012 Champions Trophy.
Akashdeep Singh’s medals and achievements
Akashdeep Singh has played a key role in the development of Indian hockey in the last decade. Two years after his international debut, he helped India win a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The striker broke through the South Korean defense in a tight semi-final and scored the game’s only goal in the 44th minute. As a result, India faced long-time rivals Pakistan in the final, which India won 4-2 on penalties.
In the same year, Akashdeep Singh had a relatively uneventful 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. However, his only goal of the tournament came when India were tied 2–2 against New Zealand in the semi-finals.
This decisive goal helped India to reach their second major final in 2014. India eventually settled for the silver medal at the CWG, losing to Australia in the final.
Akashdeep Singh was also India’s top scorer at the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championships in The Hague with five goals. Hockey India honored Akashdeep Singh with the Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year 2014.
Leading India’s attack at the Rio 2016 Olympics
Akashdeep Singh led India’s attack at the Rio 2016 Olympics. He scored a crucial goal in a tie against Canada and gave India an early advantage over eventual silver medalists Belgium in the quarter-finals.
India, however, conceded three goals after taking the lead and were eliminated after losing 3-1 to Belgium.
Two years later, Akashdeep Singh failed to score a single goal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast as India came back empty-handed after finishing fourth.
Nevertheless, Akashdeep Singh scored 13 goals at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta later that year, finishing as the tournament’s second top scorer. India opted for bronze after losing to Malaysia in the semi-finals on penalties and defeating Pakistan 2–1 in the bronze medal play-offs.
Akashdeep Singh was not one of the 2018 Asian Champions Cup top scorers but was named man of the tournament due to his role in midfield.
At the 2018 FIH Ice Hockey World Championships in Bhubaneswar, Akashdeep Singh scored just one goal in the group stage in India’s 5-0 win over South Africa. But thanks to his knockout scoring ability, Akashdeep Singh came to life against the Dutch heavyweights and put India ahead in the 12th minute.
However, the Dutch quickly equalized and threw the winner in the 50th minute to crush the Indians’ hopes for further progress.
In 2020, Akashdeep Singh was awarded the Arjuna Award – the second highest honor for athletes in India.
He failed to make India’s Tokyo 2020 squad due to poor form, but has since become a key cog in India’s attack again.
He scored three goals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham as India finished the tournament with another silver medal after losing to Australia in the final.
In a five-match test against Australia in late 2022, Akashdeep Singh scored a hat-trick in a 5-4 loss to India in the opening match, and a brilliant 59th-minute winning goal in the third match helped India break their 12-match winless streak against the No. 1 side in the world.
Akashdeep Singh’s Hockey Achievements
2011 Asian Junior Cup – Bronze medal
2014 Commonwealth Games – Silver medal
2022 Commonwealth Games – Silver medal
2014 Asian Games – Gold medal
2018 Asian Games – Bronze medal
Dhanraj Pillay Award for Striker of the Year 2014
He represented India at the Rio 2016 Olympics
Arjuna Award 2020