Kolkata, March 11 (IANS) After becoming the first Indian footballer to score back-to-back hat-tricks, TRAU FC’s Bidyashagar Singh dedicated his feat to former Indian women’s team star Prameshwori Devi.
Bidyashagar, 22, came up with hat-tricks in consecutive matches of the I-League — first against Mohammedan Sporting and then against Real Kashmir FC, both hat-tricks coming in five days.
“I would like to dedicate this record to my family, and to Prameshwori Devi, who was my first coach back in my childhood days. She herself was playing for the Indian women’s team back in those days, and she is an absolute inspiration for me,” Bidyashagar told i-league.org
Bidyashagar has been in red hot form of late, and seems to have sprung into form since the start of Phase 2 of the I-League 2020-21 season.
Not only has Bidyashagar climbed up to the top of the scorers’ charts with 11 goals in the I-League, by virtue of these hat-tricks, but he has also managed to get his name into a few more record books. Apart from being the first Indian to score consecutive hat-tricks, he also became the second Indian to score two hat-tricks in a season — the only other Indian to manage this feat in the I-League was Jeje Lalpekhlua for the Pailan Arrows, back in the 2010-11 season.
“I had absolutely no idea that I had made any kind of record. To be honest, these kinds of things are never on your mind when you go out to play a match. But it was a very pleasant surprise for me, when I got to know that I am the only Indian to score two hat-tricks in two matches in the I-League. It is an absolute honour for me, and I feel blessed to be playing for this team,” he said.
Individual records aside, Bidyashagar is more intent on getting his team’s title aspirations up and running once again. With TRAU picking up six points from their first two matches of Phase 2, and Churchill brothers suffering their first defeat of the season at the hands of Gokulam Kerala on Wednesday, the Manipuri side is now just three points adrift off the top of the I-League table.
“I am very happy to have scored these two hat-tricks. It’s an amazing feeling. I just can’t describe it in words. But what is also important is that our team was able to get six points against two very strong teams that are considered to be genuine title contenders,” said Bidyashagar.
“We were down in sixth place before Phase 2 started, and now we are just 3 points from the top side. As a team, we feel great to be challenging for the title once again,” he said.
While he now sits pretty on top of the scorers’ charts, Bidyashagar attributes his goals to the trust that is shown in him by his teammates and by the TRAU coaches.