Hours before the start of Azlan Shah Hockey tournament S V Sunil got the news of his father's death but the Indian forward opted to stay with the team, a decision he says was inspired by Sachin Tendulkar, who played the 1999 cricket World Cup after a similar tragedy.
India had its first encounter against Egypt, slated for April 5 and on the night of April 4 Sunil's father S M Vitthalcharya passed away.
Coach Harendra Singh and all the teammates advised Sunil to return to his family in India but the forward line player not only stayed back but played an important role in India's title victory in Ipoh, Malaysia.
"Coach Harendra Singh got that news over phone. For a moment I thought of going back home but then I felt if I left the team mid-way, my father's soul would not get peace as it was his dream to see me develop as a good player.
"Somebody told me about Sachin, who played the cricket 1999 World Cup when his father died. He struck a hundred after returning to England and that inspired me," Sunil told PTI.