When it comes to hockey in India, the first name comes from Major Dhyan Chand, a person who made everyone his conviction. The hockey steak used to spin in his hand as if he was threading a needle, which was why people started calling him a hockey wizard.
Born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad, Major Dhyan Chand’s father was Saameshwar Singh, who was a soldier in the English Army. Dhyan Chand’s mother’s name was Shraddha Singh, Dhyan Chand took up hockey at a very young age. Like his father, Dhyan Chand too was admitted to the English Army at the age of 16.
Between 1922 and 1926, Dhyan Chand was a part of the hockey team in every level of army competitions, he used to very fondly deliver the ball from the hockey steak to the nets by punching it with the goalkeeper.
This game made Dhyan Chand so crazy that Dhyan Chand used to play hockey even after midnight after returning from work. Dhyan Chand played hockey under the light of the moon, and people named him Dhyan Chand, Chand also means moon.
The result of Dhyan Chand’s brilliant game was that in 1926 he went on a tour to New Zealand with the Indian Army, where he went on to win 18 matches with a bang, only two matches were drawn and lost in one match. .
Dhyan Chand’s performance received praise from all sides and the English Army was also very happy with his first overseas tour. On return, Dhyan Chand was awarded the English Indian Army by the name Lance Naik.
Dhyan Chand’s performance was consistent in everyone’s eyes, and then in 1928 he also became part of the Indian hockey team which was going to take part in the Amsterdam Olympics.
Hockey was first included in the Olympics, and only then was the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) established. For this IHF wanted to send the best team to the Olympics and for this an Inter Provincial Tournament was organized.
The tournament was attended by teams from five states, including Punjab, Bengal, Rajputana, United Province (UP) and Central Province (CP).
As Dhyan Chand thought it was not just to do well in this tournament but also to entertain the selectors and spectators with his game, his control over hockey steak was such that the ball would stick to his steak and he could take it easy Used to come round.
Dhyan Chand’s excellent performance in that tournament gave him the opportunity to partner with George Marthins at Inside Right at Inside Forward, and he had received the Olympic ticket.
Although Team India faced a variety of economic challenges in reaching Amsterdam, once the Netherlands reached the competition, the Indian hockey team made it their own and completely dominated it.
Dhyan Chand scored a total of 14 goals in this tournament and played a key role in bringing gold to the Indian hockey team at the debut Olympics, Dhyan Chand was the top scorer of the tournament scoring 14 goals in 5 matches.
Dhyan Chand did not stop here, but he further enhanced his game and gave India a second consecutive gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Games. This time it was special even before, because Dhyan Chand’s brother Roop Singh was also playing this time and both brothers together brought the gold medal in India’s bag.
Dhyan Chand, who won all the hearts and gold from his game in the last two Olympics, reached the Olympics as captain in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
But this additional responsibility added to his game, with Team India scoring a total of 38 goals in the tournament and not a single goal scored against India before the final. India also scored a hat-trick, winning Olympic gold this time.
After returning from this victory, Dhyan Chand had once again joined the army and now used to play hockey in the English Army. Whereas Indian hockey has now got a new star as Balbir Singh Sr. But no one has been able to match the achievements of Dhyan Chand and neither will he.
Dhyan Chand retired from the army job in 1956 and was then awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor that same year. He then took up the responsibility of coaching and was made the head coach of the National Institute of Sports (NIS).
He may not be among us today but we still remember Dhyan Chand’s achievements and he is alive in that. The country celebrates his birthday i.e. August 29 as National Sports Day
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