Viren Rasquinha retires from international hockey

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Mumbai, Jan 15 (UNI) India's former hockey midfielder Viren Rasquinha today announced his retirement from international hockey to pursue a career in management.

The 27-year-old who announced his decision here today, said that he would continue to play domestic tournaments including the Premier Hockey League but would take a break of a year to complete his management studies.

Rasquinha, made his international debut in May 2002 at a four-nation tournament in Adelaide. He rapidly emerged as one of India's top midfielders and also captained the team briefly.

However, he struggled with injuries for the last couple of years and was left out of the team.

Announcing the decision at a press meet here today, Rasquinha handed over the crisply worded retirement statement at the end of the meet.

He would be pursuing an MBA degree at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.

''It was an extremely hard decision,'' Rasquinha told reporters.

''I have always played for my country with pride and dignity and I wish to retire in the same manner. I would like to quit when I am still at the top of my game.'' Rasquinha, who donned the Indian jersey in 180 internationals, said with his academic term at the ISB starting in April, he had to make the decision between studies and a chance to represent India at the Olympics for a second time.

''I've played for India for eight years in succession now and believe it's time for me to move on.'' Rasquinha represented India at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the World Cup in 2006; he was part of the team that won the junior World Cup in 2001 and honoured with the Arjuna award for the year 2005.

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