Birendra Lakra is a defender who doesn’t play defensively. With flames of aggression within him, he is one of India’s most versatile hockey players today, having earned numerous accolades for the nation in his glittering career so far.
Here are some spellbinding facts about the rock in India’s defence.
Birendra’s father had to mortgage 7 acres of family property to help finance the pursuit of sport for his six children. What a sacrifice that was, considering that the 7 acres of land transformed into laurels for the nation! In 2009, he lost his father while he was on a Junior Team’s tour to Sydney. Due to lack of electricity and communication devices in his village, he was not told about it until two weeks later when he returned home.
India’s most reliable workhorse was recognized for his achievements in a grand way when he was awarded with the Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year 2014 during the Hockey India Annual Awards along with a cash prize of ₹25 lakhs! His achievements have been well-celebrated by the state of Odisha as well, for his remarkable contribution to Odisha Hockey.
THE HERO’S HERO!
As a young boy from Odisha who started playing at the SAIL Hockey Academy in Rourkela, Birendra Lakra grew up idolising former India and Odisha fullback Dilip Tirkey. It’s hardly a surprise that like his idol, Birendra too has become a nightmare for every forward in Hockey.
RULING THE LEAGUE
Birendra Lakra was bagged by the Ranchi franchise for the 2013 edition of the Hockey India League. Ranchi stands as the most successful team in the HIL today, having won two out of the three editions played so far, with Lakra playing a key role in each one of them.
SUCCESS & GLORY
Not only did Lakra score a stupendous goal for India in the final game of the Olympic qualifiers, he also played a key role in taking India in to the semi-finals of 2012 Champions trophy. A Bronze medal finish for India in the Hero Hockey World League Final 2015, Gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games, Silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games are some of his other noteworthy achievements!
Hardly amongst the limelight yet shining bright with these achievements, Birendra Lakra is without a doubt, the silent guardian of Indian Hockey.