India Come 2nd In Both Legs Of 4-Nation Hockey Tournament

Photograph credit PhotoSport New Zealand

he University of Waikato Men's 4-Nation Hockey Tournament was played at Blake Park in Tauranga and Gallagher Hockey Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand, from January 17-28.

The participating countries were host New Zealand (world no. 9), Belgium (no. 3), India (no. 6) and Japan (no. 16).

The Indian team featured 4 debutants - goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak, midfielders Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Prasad and striker Dilpreet Singh, along with mainstay goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh, who was returning to the national squad from an 8-month injury layoff.

India finished second in both the legs of the 4-nation tournament, unable to get past Belgium at the final hurdle in each instance. India had the following match results:

Venue Stage Date Match Result Goal Scorers - India
Tauranga Round Robin Jan 17 India 6 - Japan 0 Rupinder Pal Singh (7 min), PS
Vivek Sagar Prasad (12, 28 min)
Dilpreet Singh (35, 45 min)
Harmanpreet Singh (41 min), PC
    Jan 18 Belgium 2 - India 0  
    Jan 20 India 3 - New Zealand 1 Harmanpreet Singh (2 min), PC
Dilpreet Singh (21 min)
Mandeep Singh (47 min)
  Final Jan 21 Belgium 2 - India 1 Mandeep Singh (19 min)
Hamilton Round Robin Jan 24 India 3 - New Zealand 2 Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (7 min)
Harjeet Singh (34 min), PC
Rupinderpal Singh (36 min), PC
    Jan 25 India 5 - Belgium 4 Rupinderpal Singh (4, 42 min), both PCs
Harmanpreet Singh (49 min), PC
Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (53 min)
Dilpreet Singh (59 min)
    Jan 27 India 4 - Japan 2 Vivek Sagar Prasad (12 min)
Varun Kumar (30 min), PC
Mandeep Singh (58 min)
Ramandeep Singh (58 min)
  Final Jan 28 Belgium 4 - India 4 (3-0 SO) Ramandep Singh (29, 53 min)
Neelakantha Sharma (42 min)
Mandeep Singh (49 min)

The Indian team for the 4-nation tournament was as follows:

Goalkeepers: P. R. Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (captain), Kangujam Chinglensana Singh (vice captain), Vivek Sagar Prasad, Harjeet Singh, Neelakantha Sharma, Simranjeet Singh, Satbeer Singh

Forwards: Dilpreet Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Armaan Qureshi

Officials: Chief Coach - Sjoerd Marijne, Analytical coach - Chris Ciriello

Triple Olympian (1956-64) Lt. Col. Haripal Kaushik Passes Away

t. Col. Haripal Kaushik, who won gold for India in the 1956 Olympics, 1964 Olympics and 1966 Asian Games, as well as silver in the 1960 Olympics, passed away at his residence in Jalandhar cantonment on January 25, 2018. He was 84, and was suffering from dementia since 2015. His wife Prem Bala Kaushik had died long ago.

Kaushik was commissioned in the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment in 1959. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for displaying exemplary courage and self-disregard in the 1962 Indo-China war, when he led his company from the front in the Battle of Bumla. He rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in the army. Haripal missed the 1962 Asian Games because of the border crisis with China that year.

In the 1965 Nehru Hockey Tournament final, Kaushik represented Sikh Regimental Centre against Bombay XI in the final. Haripal was the only non-Sikh in his team and dashing outside-right Balbir Singh was the only Sikh in the Bombay XI team. Both Haripal and Balbir excelled in that entertaining final that Sikh Regimental Centre eventually won 1-0.

Kaushik was overlooked repeatedly for the Arjuna Puraskar, which was finally awarded to him as late as 1999, more than 30 years after he had left international hockey.

He was vice captain of the Indian Olympic team 3 times - 1956, 60 and 64 - but was never made captain. "I survived a war, but not administrators," he used to often say in the context of missing out being appointed as team's captain.

The Haripal Stadium, raised in honour of the officer, is a lush green and sprawling multi-purpose sports field in Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre (MIRC) in Ahmednagar. It has a standard athletic track, field for conducting various athletics events, a hockey and a football ground, a gymnasium complex and spectators seating all around.

Jaipal Singh Munda's Village Learns To Play Hockey Once More

Article by A. S. R. P. Mukesh, Article and Photo courtesy Telegraph

aipal Singh Munda had captained the Indian hockey team at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and returned with the gold - India's first ever Olympic gold. But younger generations in Jaipal Singh Munda's native Takra village in Khunti district, around 30 km from Ranchi, have long been ignorant about their rich legacy. So much so that the game itself has sunk into oblivion.

All that will possibly change if hearty endeavours of John Munda, gram pradhan of Takra and great grandnephew of Jaipal Singh, bear fruit.

With the solitary goal to promote the legend of a Marang Gomke (great leader) - a sobriquet earned by the sportsman who was also a campaigner for the Adivasi cause - fans and descendants a few months ago set up the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Memorial Trust, which held the first-ever hockey tournament in Takra.

The under-14 league for 12 teams from Takra and its four neighbouring villages (Hatudarmi, Dabdana, Potamgarha and Patibera) began in the last week of December 2017, and the final was played on January 3, to mark the 116th birth anniversary of Jaipal Singh. Medals had a picture of the hockey legend embossed on them.

"People prefer playing football in our village. They have been doing so for long. It may sound surprising that children here never saw a hockey stick before, let alone play the game. The elderly know about my great granduncle, but the youth are clueless. We want to revive hockey here," John told this correspondent over phone.

Khunti district has given birth to a few hockey players over decades, but none hailed from Jaipal Singh's native Takra village.

"Simdega district, on the other hand, has become a nursery of the game. We hope to hold tournaments in every district in the memory of Jaipal Singh," John said, adding that they had managed to procure 100 hockey sticks for the 12 teams through donations. "We have six teams for boys and six teams for girls. The players are holding a hockey stick for the first time. The tournament was supported by the voluntary organisation Ranchi Munda Sabha. Old-timers coached the players for a couple of weeks before the tournament began."

"You may say Jaipal Singh's village is learning to play hockey again," said John with a smile.

Odisha Win 1st Khelo India School Games - Boys Hockey

he 1st Khelo India School Games was organised by the Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI) for 16 sports in the capital city of Delhi. The 16 sports, each for both boys and girls, were Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

The mission of Khelo India is to develop a sporting culture in the country, identify talent from grassroots and groom them for international success. The tournament was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

1,000 athletes, in the age group of 10 - 17, will be awarded an annual scholarship of 5 lakh each, of which 1.5 lakh will be directly transferred to the athlete, and the rest will be available for reimbursement or expenses on gear, training, etc.

Star Sports bagged the broadcast rights of the Khelo India School Games for a period of five years, from 2018 to 2022. This was for the first time ever that school sports were telecast live in India.

The Khelo India Boys Hockey Tournament was held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi from January 31 - February 8, 2018.

The following teams took part in the tournament:

  • Pool A: Hariyana, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan
  • Pool B: Uttar Pradesh, Chandigadh, Karnataka, Delhi

Odisha won the 1st Khelo India School Games Boys Hockey Tournament with the following match results:

Stage Date Odisha Punjab
Pool Feb 1 beat Rajasthan 14-3 beat Hariyana 4-2
  Feb 2 lost to Hariyana 1-2 beat Rajasthan 10-1
  Feb 4 beat Punjab 3-0 lost to Odisha 0-3
Quarters Feb 5 beat Delhi 5-1 beat Karnataka 7-1
Semis Feb 7 beat Uttar Pradesh 1-1 (3-2 SO) beat Chandigadh 5-2
Final Feb 8 beat Punjab 2-1

In the match for the bronze medal, Chandigadh beat Uttar Pradesh 5-1 to finish third

The victorious Odisha team comprised mostly players from Rourkela's Panposh Sports Hostel.

Hariyana Win 1st Khelo India School Games - Girls Hockey

he 1st Khelo India School Games - Girls Hockey - was held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi from January 31 - February 8, 2018.

The following teams took part in the tournament:

  • Pool A: Hariyana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgadh
  • Pool B: Punjab, Odisha, Chandigadh, Delhi

Hariyana won the 1st Khelo India School Games Girls Hockey Tournament with the following match results:

Stage Date Hariyana Jharkhand
Pool Feb 1 beat Jharkhand 4-2 lost to Hariyana 2-4
  Feb 2 beat Uttar Pradesh 3-0 beat Chattisgadh 12-0
  Feb 4 beat Chattisgadh 8-1 beat Uttar Pradesh 4-1
Quarters Feb 5 beat Delhi 5-2 beat Odisha 7-0
Semis Feb 7 beat Chandigadh 4-3 beat Punjab 2-1
Final Feb 8 beat Jharkhand 2-1

In the match for the bronze medal, three goals by Simranjeet Kaur enabled Punjab to beat Chandigadh 5-4 and finish third.

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy Balbir Singh Sr.'s Facebook page

he Photograph of the Month for February 2018 is of triple Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr. He is the oldest living Olympian of India. He completed 94 years and stepped into his 95th year on 31st December, 2017.

He won the golden hat-trick for post-independent India by winning Olympics golds in 1948 (London), 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 Melbourne, where he also captained the team.

Balbir Singh Sr. was the flag bearer of the Indian Olympic contingent twice - in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics. In 1957, he was the recipient of the first Padma Shri awarded in the sports category.

Even after his playing career, as coach or manager he accompanied 8 Indian teams for various international tournaments, and each time the Indian team returned with a medal!

This includes the historic 1975 Kuala Lumpur Hockey World Cup Gold, which till date is the only World Cup gold for India.

Money Matters

he Men's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament will be held at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat from October 18-28, 2018. The top five men's hockey nations in Asia - world no. 6 India, no. 12 Malaysia, no. 13 Pakistan, no. 14 South Korea, and no. 16 Japan - along with host Oman ranked world no. 32 will participate in the tournament.

The tournament will feature a mouth-watering clash between India and Pakistan. Considering the huge number of Indians and Pakistanis working in Oman, the championship will be a real feast for hockey lovers.

The Asian Champions Trophy hockey championship was started in 2011. This is the first time Oman will be hosting the event, which will be the 5th edition of the tournament.

"With a live telecast assured across 100 nations, the Asian Champions Trophy is the blue riband event of the Asian Hockey Federation. With no bilateral series between India and Pakistan in recent years, Asian Champions Trophy hockey provides a perfect platform for one of the most-popular viewership events in the world. The India-Pakistan match viewership at the 2017 Asia Cup in Dhaka had a higher viewership than any other FIH event, including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games," said Asian Hockey Federation CEO Tayyab Ikram.

Hero MotoCorp, a global partner of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and a long-term associate of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), will be the title sponsor of the tournament. This will be the biggest hockey event immediately preceding the Men's World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar, India from November 28 to December 16, 2018.

Pavan Munjal, Chairman, MD and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said, "Hockey is one of our focus sports and we have had a long standing and gratifying association with FIH. We are glad to extend our association with the Hero Asian Champions Trophy and look forward to an exciting tournament."

Media Matters

Article by Arumugam courtesy

n elegantly produced coffee-table book entitled 'My Golden Days: The Life of a Hockey Player', dwells on the life and times of Olympic gold medallist Gurbux Singh.

Son of an Army officer, Gurbux Singh took to hockey early in the life. His story, elegantly prosed by seasoned journalist Subroto Sirkar, revolved around hockey in Meerut, Mhow, Lucknow, Indore and other hockey centres of last century, wherever his father would be posted.

The book gives a glimpse of Indian hockey as it existed from the 1950s through the 2000s. Gurbux was born in Peshawar (now in Pakistan) and had to migrate to India due to partition. His description of partition and personal trauma, are moving.

The highlight of the book is how India wrested the Olympic hockey gold from Pakistan in 1964. And then followed it up with the Asian Games gold two years later at Bangkok in 1966.

Indian hockey politics of the 1960s and 1970s is well-evident as one flips through the book. The sidelining of Harbinder Singh in the 1962 Ahmedabad International Tournament, the humiliation handed out to Dhyan Chand there, unknown faces in the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, the appointment of three vice-captains for the national team, internal squabbling that led to a poor 3rd-place finish at Mexico City in 1968, and how Ashwini Kumar, then Indian Hockey Federation President's whimsical selection of team officials spoilt the runup to the Mexico Olympics, are all there in the book.

The graphic details that led to Prithipal Singh and Gurbux Singh being appointed joint captains of Mexico Olympics, then how Gurbux almost gave away all his rights to Prithipal Singh in the interest of the team, add more valuable substance to what we know so far. In the end it was sports that won, when Gurbux describes how Prithipal wept after India lost to Australia in the Mexico Olympic semifinal.

In a sense, more than the 1964 win, the details of 1968 Olympics is the icing on the cake. Portrayal of heroes such as Joginder Singh, Balbir Singh (Services), Harbinder Singh, legendary goalie Shankar Lakshman, and unpredictable Inam-ur-Rahman, makes interesting reading.

Gurbux's view of leading players of his times, and also of some administrators, are collated in the last chapters. He has also added a section called Decline of Indian hockey.

The book generously gives enough space in writeup and images to all contemporary greats, which is a welcome part of the autobiography. Its not a book of self-glory. With vintage images in place, and pleasing design, the book is worth its weight. A must for those who wants to know how hard work and dedication went behind glorious past of Indian hockey.

Details: Pages - 232, Price - 1,100, Publisher - All Sport Foundation, 91B Chowringhee Road, Kolkata 700020, Email -

Visitor of the Month

he February 2018 Visitor of the Month is Sports Beats India, who sent the following email to

We are a new Indian Sports website, having launched on January 26, 2018. Right now we have player profile data from 12 different sports. We couldn't cover hockey because of the unavailability of player data. Hockey is the integral part of Indian sports and we look forward to eventually adding profiles of our hockey players.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he February 2018 edition of Fun with Numbers is on India's 5 youngest debutants who represented the country in international hockey.

  • The top 5 youngest debutants coincidentally all scored in their very first match for India
Player Date of Birth Age at Debut Opponent Venue Year Match Result Goals in Debut
Sandeep Singh 27-02-1986 17 years, 341 days Germany Kuala Lumpur 2004 India lose 1-3 1
Vivek Sagar Prasad 25-02-2000 17 years, 352 days Japan Tauranga (NZL) 2018 India win 6-0 2
Dilpreet Singh 12-11-1999 18 years, 36 days Japan Tauranga (NZL) 2018 India win 6-0 2
B. P. Govinda 04-03-1951 18 years, 300 days Italy Mumbai 1970 India win 6-0 1
Latif-ur-Rehman 01-01-1929 19 years, 186 days Sri Lanka Colombo 1948 India win 11-1 1