Bangladesh's veteran hockey player Mamunur Rahman Chayan was overwhelmed with emotions after being given a warm and hearty send-off by his teammates, opposition players, and federation officials at the end of his last international match yesterday.
The 30-year-old defender and penalty corner specialist was given a symbolic send-off as he walked through a cordon of sticks made by the Bangladesh and South Korea players. Then he was handed over a crest by the Bangladesh Hockey Federation's general secretary Abdus Sadeque.
A former instructor of Chayan, who is in charge of the logistics of the hockey event here, came and hugged him, urging him to change his mind anytime he wants.
But Chayan is adamant this is the best time to hang up his sticks. A veteran of four Asian Games, the 30-year-old defender chose the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games as his last act and he feels he is satisfied with whatever he achieved from the game.
“I am satisfied with whatever I have achieved from hockey,” Chayan told reporters after yesterday's match. “I have received many phone calls yesterday from my BKSP classmates such as Mushfiqur (Rahim), (Abdullah Hel) Baki and others. Everyone asks me why I am retiring from the international game but I think the time is right. I need to give more time to my family and my three-year-old son,” he said.
Chayan made his debut in 2006 and had been an integral part of the Bangladesh hockey team. However, a dip in form and the arrival of Ashraful Islam had put this penalty corner specialist's position in the side under pressure.
“I have played four Asian Games and it's not easy to achieve that. I have scored close to 80 goals in 120 international matches. The end could have been a bit better, but I leave with no regrets,” Chayan added.
Meanwhile, it was decided by the Bangladesh Olympic Association yesterday that Chayan would carry the national flag in the closing ceremony march-past, which made him even more delighted.
“It's a big honour for me. I am really grateful to everyone -- to my teammates, to my federation and to everyone else,” Chayan said.