Olympian and experienced Indian defender Dilip Tirkey on Sunday announced his retirement from international hockey.
"I took the decision to retire from international hockey because I have been suffering from fitness-related problems for quite a long time. My legs are not fit and I don't think it is possible for me to return to the national squad in the near future," Tirkey told PTI Bhasha.
Tirkey, who made his international debut in 1995 against England in the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup, did not play the recent World Cup held in Delhi earlier this year.
The three-time Olympian and former India captain, Tirkey also said he was not satisfied with his international career.
"I could not fulfil my dream of clinching the World Cup title and Olympic medals. I did not get the chance to play in the World Cup and would not be able to play in the Commonwealth Games at home. This grudge will remain throughout my life," he said.
Tirkey, however, said he will remain in touch with Indian hockey and is willing to coach young talents.
"I can't go away from hockey. Now I will open an academy in Orissa where I will coach young talented players. Lets see what happens in future," said the 32-year-old.
Down with an ankle injury, Tirkey had not played any international tournament since Asia Cup last year.
"I consulted doctors last year during the camp in Pune. They said my muscles have weakened. I have taken a lot of rest, but it did not improve. I have pain in my muscles and I think, foreign specialists have to be consulted," he said.
He also said the current India team have talented players but they have to work hard to improve.
"India (team) has a lot of talented players but they have to work hard. We commit same mistakes time and again. Mistakes should not be repeated," he said.