Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh tied the knot with long-time fiancée Illi Saddique at the GTB Nagar Gurudwara in Jalandhar on Wednesday.
Manpreet Singh first met Illi Saddique, a Malaysian national of Pakistani descent, while captaining the junior Indian hockey team at the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2012.
Saddique works for a private University in Malaysia. Her mother Masita used to play hockey for the Malaysian army.
The couple got engaged in February 2014 and were set to marry in April this year. Their plan, however, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Illi Saddique reportedly had to get special permission from the Malaysian authorities and India's Home Affairs Ministry to fly down for the wedding.
The wedding ceremony, attended by family, friends and Manpreet’s India team-mates Mandeep Singh and Varun Kumar, was held at Manpreet's hometown in Mithapur village in Jalandhar, Punjab, abiding by strict COVID protocols.
Former India hockey player Pargat Singh, who captained the national side at the Barcelona '92 and Atlanta '96 Olympics, also attended to give the newlyweds his blessings.
Manpreet tested COVID positive back in August during India’s hockey national camp in Bengaluru but has made a full recovery. The 28-year-old is expected to captain the Indian men’s hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan, which starts from July 2021.
Saddique, in a previous interview, had asserted that Manpreet’s focus would be on hockey even after marriage and she would be rooting for her husband to make India proud in Tokyo.
“The only difference now will be that I will be with him at home whenever he is on a break from the national camps or tournaments,” Saddique said.
“An Olympic hockey medal next year will be the perfect start to our married life. I'm confident Manpreet and his team are on track to make India proud in Tokyo. It will be an honour for me to be by his side, seeing him achieve his dreams,” she said.