Life and career
Tirkey was born on 15 October 1998 in Saunamara village of Sundergarh district to a farmer father and housewife mother. Due to his family’s difficult financial situation, he had to practice hockey with a borrowed hockey stick on the village roads. Inspired by his elder brother Prashant to take up the sport, he joined the State Sports Hostel in Rourkela in 2009 where he learned the game.
Tirkey first played for the India junior team at the 2014 Sultan of Johor Cup. The same year, he was picked by the Kalinga Lancers franchise in the Hockey India League. He also captained the Indian junior team for EurAsia Cup in Russia and England tour in July 2016.