The contribution of PR Sreejesh to the Indian hockey team has not gone unnoticed; the goalkeeper is all set to receive the Arjuna award after his name was cleared for one of the highest honurs for Indian sportspersons.
With this, the goalkeeper from Kerala joins the likes of hockey players Sardar Singh, Ignace Tirkey, Dilip Tirkey, Pargat Singh and Dhanraj Pillay who have been honoured with the Arjuna award.
PR Sreejesh has been performing consistently for India in the recent past and was one of India's big performers in the Hockey World League where India finished fourth.
Sreejesh also played an important role in helping India qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with some sterling saves in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games final against Pakistan during the penalties.
"I still get goosebumps when I think of my performance against Pakistan in Incheon. I am sure that performance and the silver medal winning show in Glasgow helped me in getting this award sooner than expected," The Times of India quoted Sreejesh as saying.
For his consistent performance, Sreejesh was awarded the TOISA award in May. Sreejesh believes that after the birth of his baby girl, things have changed for good.
"Ever since I was blessed with a baby girl all good things are happening in my life. The TOISA award which I received in May was my first national level recognition. I took it as a good omen. I knew my name was under the consideration of Arjuna award selection panel. The Arjuna award is a huge honour for any sportsperson and I am absolutely thrilled," said Sreejesh.
Normally, goalscorers are hailed as superstars and receive laurels for their performances, while goalkeepers, despite their performance, do not get the recognition they deserve.
Sreejesh has taken this award as a recognition to goalkeepers.
"I take this nomination as a recognition not just for hockey but for goalkeepers as well. Most often, we have seen that individual awards in the game go to goal scorers. But nowadays a few critical saves give goalkeepers as much attention and helps them in getting individual honours. So if my award recommendation helps two young kids to take up goalkeeping tomorrow, I will be most happy," said Sreejesh.
Devesh Chauhan was the last Indian male goalkeeper to be conferred the award.