Iconic Autobiography GOAL By Dhyan Chand Republished By The Hindu Group

Article by Vijay Lokapally, Photograph of Rajyavardhan Rathore credit R. V. Moorthy, both of The Hindu

ailing hockey legend Dhyan Chand as an iconic international sportsman, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore hoped the game would benefit from the rich legacy left by past stalwarts. He was speaking at the book release function of Dhyan Chand's autobiography - GOAL - at his office on 28th December, 2018.

GOAL, published by Sportstar, is a 261-page book where Dhyan Chand takes the reader on his hockey journey. Apart from memories of his playing days, the legendary forward gives important tips on the technicality of hockey. An added feature of the book is an emotional tribute by 1975 World Cup-winner Ashok Kumar in a chapter titled "Remembering Dhyan Chand, The Father."

Speaking on his association with hockey, Rathore said, "I have played all sports. I have played hockey as well very actively during my school and military academy days. I loved the game. It's a very fast game. I think it's one of the fastest team games apart from ice-hockey. Today, it requires tremendous strength, stamina and strategy. Of course, the skill levels also need to be very high."

Advocating a return to natural turf for hockey, Rathore observed, "Because India is growing as an economy power and because of the large number of fans, I would want the international federation, which Mr. Narendra Batra is the president, to start leagues on natural turfs to save water."

"The astro turfs requires so much water for maintenance and it can prove a very expensive affair. Natural turfs can be set up in every district of the country. Natural turf is something that hockey can return to. Or, develop turfs that don't need water. These are two imperatives for hockey to grow in India," said Rathore.

The first part of the book contains the memoirs of Dhyan Chand, starting with his introduction to hockey and covering:

  • 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games
  • Tours of New Zealand and Australia in 1926 and 1935
  • Inter-provincial tournaments in pre-independent India
  • Selection of the Indian Olympic teams

The second part is a detailed instructional manual on how to play the game. Both these parts were serialised in Sport and Pastime between 1948 and 1951.

The book contains two sets of photographs from his playing days, including many that were printed in Sport and Pastime along with the memoirs and manual.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has written a new foreword for the book, and Dhyan Chand's son, Ashok Kumar, has written about his father. Also included is a set of statistics covering Dhyan Chand's playing career.

The price of the autobiography is ₹329 for domestic shipping and ₹649 for overseas shipping. The book can be purchased at: https://www.thehindu.com/publications/.

Change.org Petition Seeks Sacking Of Abusive Hockey India CEO Elena Norman

The Abusive Hockey India CEO Elena Norman

Change.org petition has been addressed to Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, requesting his intervention to stop the damange inflicted by the high-handed officials of Hockey India.

The petitions brings to light the following inconvenient truths:

Dictatorship is the order of the day in Hockey India. CEO Elena Norman is acting as if she has the powers of the Secretary General and President rolled into one.

This Australian 'CEO' has humiliated all and sundry for nearly a decade, misusing her unconstitutional post. In this behaviour, she has been assisted by another bossy Australian, a 'High Performance Director' whose only claim to fame is being a physical trainer.

What are the Job Descriptions for these two posts? What are the Key Performance Indicators for these two posts? Do we not have better and qualified Indians for these two posts?

Also, we cannot keep a blind eye to the wrongful and unjustifiable sacking of Indian hockey coach, Dronacharya Harendra Singh, by a scapegoat committee known as 'High Performance and Development Committee'.

It is common knowledge that the former President of Hockey India and the present president of FIH controls Hockey India by proxy, and wanted Harendra Singh out. He never wanted to even appoint him in the first place.

Sir, your intervention is needed urgently to undo the wrong and injustice done to the National Game. Hockey India is a Public Authority, and must heed to your intervention or lose financial aid. Please intervene immediately.

Jai Hind.

Leo Anthony Devadoss And Hockey Lovers of India

For the record, Elena Norman's abusive outburst against four Indian players, ahead of India's World Cup quarterfinal loss against the Netherlands, had a "very disturbing effect" on the Indian team, then coach Harendra Singh has written in his report to Sports Authority of India.

Two days before India's quarterfinal loss, captain Manpreet Singh, along with fellow players Krishan Pathak, Mandeep Singh and Gurjant Singh entered the VIP lounge of Kalinga Stadium while watching the crossover match between the Netherlands and Canada. Norman abused them for not being in their designated seating area opposite the VIP stand.

In her blind and myopic view, Elena Norman forgot that the real VIPs are the Indian hockey players, not fraudulently-appointed officials like her masquerading as 'CEOs'.

Olympic Gold Medallist Raghubir Singh Bhola Passes Away In Delhi

Photograph credit: The Hindu Archives

roup Captain Raghubir Singh Bhola passed away in his sleep at his residence in Delhi on 21st January, 2019. He was 92, and is survived by his wife Kamala, three daughters and three grandsons.

The Indian Air Force veteran, born in Multan in Pakistan on 21st August, 1927, completed his studies from the Delhi College of Engineering, and joined Bharatiya Vayu Sena (IAF) as an aeronautical engineer in 1952. He was part of the National championship-winning Services side in 1953, the first time ever, and made his India debut in 1954.

Bhola was a left-winger of the Indian hockey team at two Olympics - 1956 and 1960 - winning gold and silver respectively. After retirement, Bhola continued to associate with Indian Hockey in the following capacities:

  • National Selector, for close to 9 years
  • International Umpire, for 5 years
  • Manager of the Indian team on several international tours, including the 1976 Olympics
  • Government Observer for the 1994 World Cup and the 1998 Asian Games

There were two low points in Bhola's career - he missed a sure goal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, where India lost the gold for the first time in its hockey history, and he was the manager of the 1976 Indian Olympic hockey team, which returned medal-less from the Olympics for the first time in its hockey history.

Bhola retired from the IAF in 1978. Bhola was awarded the Arjuna Puraskar for Lifetime Contribution in 2000.

Where Are The Hockey Playing Schools And Colleges In Odisha??

Article by Arumugam, courtesy Stick2Hockey.com. Photograph credit FIH

he World Cup is over. A million eyeballs watched 20 days of action in Bhubaneswar. The manner in which the event was organized impressed all. But it was all possible largely because crores of rupees were pumped in to make the World Cup a big-ticket event.

The last six months have witnessed a chain of events that culminated in the grand World Cup finale on December 16 at Kalinga Stadium. The logo release, the trophy unveiling, three-hour opening ceremony, promotion events involving Bollywood bigwigs in a non-host city, sports literature festival, publication of souvenir books, exhibition matches involving living legends, felicitation of the 1975 World Cup winning team members, the invitation and hospitality for ambassadors of the visiting teams, et al were meticulously planned and executed.

The promotion of the World Cup was simply awe-inspiring. Stars from other sports were invited to regale the crowd and boost media coverage. Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketing legend graced the final. His former teammates Anil Kumble and Virendra Sehvag also made appearances in earlier matches. Wrestling icon Sushil Kumar, shooting sensation Gagan Narang and tennis legend Leander Paes were other prominent sportspersons at the venue on invitation as well.

Now that the show is over, it's time to introspect. To look back and look forward through all the buzz, hype and hoopla that the event generated. Has the World Cup left behind a legacy?

Firstly, it seems the capacity 15,000 crowd that thronged the stadium daily was the result of the wide promotion and ensuing publicity the event received. Would these new-found fans of the game stay connected to the game given that there is little or no hockey activity in the city?

It's a pity that the refurbished and enlarged stadium with its new artificial pitches may not see national level activity in the near future - not even age group national champions. Neither are there any all-India tournaments set in Bhubaneswar. The Mango Cup, held annually in the past, is now defunct.

And now, the very basic question: How many schools in Bhubaneswar play hockey to justify notions that the city is a hub for the game? In the run-up to the World Cup that a leading newspaper and the Odisha Government jointly organized an inter-school competition. Just four schools participated!

Bhubaneswar city has about 200 schools out of which just five or six field hockey teams and only a couple of colleges patronize the sport. Now we can understand why not many 'clinics' with schools were not held when every team had at least 3,4 days gap between matches at least twice. We saw only a solitary occasion of a foreign team going to a public school during the World Cup.

For that matter, just a lone district in Odisha - Sundergarh - produces hockey players, with the rest of the state contributing almost zero from the remaining 29 districts. That Sundergarh boasts of producing 50 international players is praiseworthy, but for hockey to be a sport followed by a far wider audience, the situation is worrisome.

Bhubaneswar may have hosted a great World Cup but the sport has not penetrated the city and it's a point to ponder. The sport should spread like it has in Punjab and Haryana if Odisha wants to acquire the tag of hockey capital of the country. And there's a long way to go.

The subject of hockey's little or no presence in educational institutions was broached by this writer with many officials and former players in Odisha. Not many knew the way forward. Unless and until more schools and colleges take up hockey as a spin-off benefit of the interest generated by the World Cup, the future of the sport in Odisha appears bleak.

With the absence of a roadmap to effectively utilize the awareness and interest created in the city and the state in the last few months, the gains may all have been wasted. Hockey, many claim, is way of life in Odisha. The above observations render it a cliché, a refrain without rationale.

But there's yet time to turn it around and indeed make hockey a way of life in this land. What's needed is that hockey be played in every block, tehsil and district level.

And it shouldn't be confined to the Tirkeys, Lakras, Ekkas, Minz and Orams. It should spread to the Rauls, Patnaiks, Panis, Panigrahis, Beheras, Doras, Deos, Gaudas, Jenas, Mahantys, Mahabatras, Naiks, Ojhas, Rauts and Rays. The Sahoos and Swains should also pick up the stick and wouldn't that give width and depth to hockey in Odisha?

The state used to contribute more players to the national teams in the recent past than at present. Isn't that a sign that the sport in Odisha is not at its best even now?

If Odisha wants to really head the Indian hockey provenance, it's now time to act, spread the game, take it to schools and colleges the length and breadth of the state. Only then can we reap benefit from the enormous expenditure of the World Cup, and usher in the state as a sports conscious and a sports-driven society.

Indian Women Play Test Matches vs. Spain And Ireland In European Tour

Navneet Kaur of India in the third test against Spain, photograph courtesy Hockey India

he 9th-ranked Indian team played test matches against no. 7 Spain and no. 8 Ireland in Santomera, Murcia in Spain, from January 26 - February 3, 2019. For the first time ever, the Indian contingent included a psychologist - Priyanka from Sports Authority of India.

India's drew the series with Spain, but won the series against Ireland. India's match results are given below:

Opponent Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Spain Jan 26 Spain 3 - India 2 Udita (12 min)
Gurjeet Kaur (48 min), PC
  Jan 27 India 1 - Spain 1 Gurjeet Kaur (41 min), PC
  Jan 29 India 5 - Spain 2 Lalremsiami (17, 58 min)
Neha Goyal (21 min)
Navneet Kaur (32 min)
Rani Rampal (51 min)
  Jan 31 India 2 - Spain 2 Deep Grace Ekka (8 min), PC
Navneet Kaur (26 min)
Ireland Feb 1 India 1 - Ireland 1 Gurjeet Kaur (18 min), PC
  Feb 3 India 3 - Ireland 0 Navjyot Kaur (13 min)
Reena Khokar (26 min)
Gurjeet Kaur (60 min), PC

The Indian team for the test matches against Spain and Ireland was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Savita Punia (vice-captain), Rajani Etimarapu

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjeet Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Salima, Nikki Pradhan, Susheela

Midfielders: Leelima Minz, Monika, Neha Goyal, Karishma

Forwards: Rani Rampal (captain), Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Udita, Navjyot Kaur

Officials: Sjoerd Marijne (chief coach), Priyanka (psychologist)

Hariyana Wins 3 Of 4 Titles In Khelo India Youth Games Hockey

helo India Youth Games (formerly Khelo India School Games) are national level multi-disciplinary games held between states in two age-group categories: under-17 school students and under-21 college students. The 2019 Games was the second edition of the tournament, and was held at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balevadi, Pune.

The hockey event of the 2019 Games was held from January 7-20, 2019 in two venues - Mumbai Hockey Association Stadium (u-21 men, u-17 men) and Balewadi in Pune (u-21 women, u-17 women). The victors in the various age-group categories are given below:

Odisha won the u-21 men's hockey gold, with runner-up Hariyana finishing with silver and Punjab with bronze.

Stage Date Odisha Hariyana
League Jan 8 beat Maharashtra 6-3 beat Jharkhand 10-0
  Jan 9 beat Hariyana 4-1 lost to Odisha 1-4
  Jan 11 drew with Jharkhand 0-0 beat Maharashtra 6-1
Semis Jan 13 beat Uttar Pradesh 2-1 beat Punjab 3-1
Final Jan 15 beat Hariyana 2-2 (4-2 Penalty Shootout)

Hariyana won the u-21 women's hockey gold with runner-up Jharkhand finishing with silver and Punjab with bronze.

Stage Date Hariyana Date Jharkhand
League Jan 13  beat Punjab 3-2 Jan 12  beat Mizoram 5-2
  Jan 14  beat Uttar Pradesh 4-2 Jan 13  drew with Odisha 0-0
  Jan 16  beat Chandigadh 8-0 Jan 15  drew with Maharashtra 0-0
Semis Jan 18  beat Odisha 2-0 Jan 18  beat Punjab 3-0
Final Jan 20  beat Jharkhand 3-0

Hariyana won the u-17 men's hockey gold with runner-up Punjab finishing with silver and Odisha with bronze.

Stage Date Hariyana Punjab
League Jan 7 beat Punjab 2-0 lost to Punjab 0-2
  Jan 9 beat Jharkhand 9-1 beat Chandigadh 2-1
  Jan 10 beat Chandigadh 4-0 beat Jharkhand 9-4
Semis Jan 12 beat Uttar Pradesh 3-2 beat Odisha 2-2 (4-3 Strokeout)
Final Jan 14 beat Punjab 1-0

Hariyana won the u-17 women's hockey gold with runner-up Jharkhand finishing with silver and Odisha with bronze

Stage Date Hariyana Date Jharkhand
League Jan 12 drew with Mizoram 1-1 Jan 12 beat Punjab 3-0
  Jan 14 beat Maharashtra 5-0 Jan 13 drew with Chandigadh 2-2
  Jan 15 beat Odisha 3-2 Jan 15 beat Delhi 11-0
Semis Jan 17 beat Punjab 4-0 Jan 17 beat Odisha 4-3
Final Jan 19 beat Jharkhand 2-1

Hariyana did well in reaching the hockey final of all four age-group categories: u-17 boys, u-17 girls, u-21 boys and u-21 girls, and winning the gold in 3 of the 4 finals.

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy Stick2Hockey.com

he Photograph of the Month for February 2019 is of an advertisement hoarding with the theme of hockey displayed in Bhubanesvar during the World Cup. The billboard highlights that one district - Sundergarh - has produced over 50 international hockey players in Odisha.

Sundergarh district, the second largest in Odisha, was formed following the merger of two princely states - Gangpur and Bonai - in 1948. The district has 36 tribes, including Oram, Munda and Bhuniya tribes among others, most of whom have contributed players to the national team.

Two of Sundergarh's hockey players have also received Padma Shri - Dileep Tirkey and Ignace Tirkey. 3-time Olympian Dileep is the highest capped player from this district, having played over 400 internationals.

Despite producing some many players, Sundergarh has never hosted any national or international event - all these players had to migrate out of the district in order to play hockey.

Money Matters

he International Hockey Federation (FIH) has signed a four-year partnership with hockey fashion and equipment brand Osaka. Under the deal which runs from 2019 - 2022, Osaka will be an FIH Global Supplier for hockey sporting apparel and equipment.

The agreement includes all of the FIH's competitions, including the Pro League, World Cups and Olympic Qualifiers. Osaka will provide all clothing kits for umpires, technical officials, local judges, ball patrol teams and FIH staff at FIH events.

Osaka Hockey chief executive Stephen Butler welcomed the partnership with the sport's global governing body. "With this new FIH partnership, Osaka aims to expand the brand globally, to develop hockey in other countries and new markets, and to spread the love for the game by bringing hockey to the next level," he said.

Media Matters

he International Hockey Federation (FIH) launched a global broadcast platform for hockey called FIH.live on 10th January, 2019. This platform will be provided to all National Associations for all their own competitions and matches.

Users will have the opportunity to access content, share content on social media and follow their favourite entities - including associations, domestic competitions, clubs, individual teams and players.

Users will enjoy a fully interactive experience, including scrolling the interactive match timeline, watching specific match actions, reviewing statistics and chatting during the live match.

Applying an 'athlete-first' concept, the platform will give players the chance to create their own digital hockey profile and control their own content.

In 2019, all FIH competitions will be available live on FIH.live, in every market where a broadcaster will not be showing the match. This includes the inaugural FIH Pro League, which will kick-off on 19 January, the FIH Series Finals and the Olympic qualifiers.

To create and launch FIH.live, FIH has teamed with Swiss live-streaming company mycujoo. Pedro Presa, CEO and founder of mycujoo, stated: "Hockey is a global sport and represents a massive community. With FIH.live, FIH and mycujoo will harness the power of the sport, the power of these communities to bring more content and value to hockey players and fans worldwide.".

Visitor of the Month

he February 2019 Visitor of the Month is Suresh Kalpathi, who sent the following email to BharatiyaHockey.org:

I would like to buy the book 'Goal!' - the autobiography of Dhyan Chand; where can I purchase it?

The autobiography of the legendary Dhyan Chand, first serialised in 1948-1949 by Sport & Pastime, the precursor to Sportstar, has been re-printed more than 60 years after the book was first published by The Hindu Group.

The classic autobiography, with a wealth of historical details of the sport in pre-Independent India, is available for purchase at https://www.thehindu.com/publications/. You can also call Customer Care at 1-800-30001878.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he February 2019 edition of Fun with Numbers is a statistical survey of Indian women's hockey, from 1953 - 2018.

  • Summary

World Ranking: 9
First Tournament: Folkestone (Kent, England) 16-nation invitational tournament (September 1953); India finished 11th
Last Tournament: 2018 Jakarta Asian Games (2nd)

  • Win-Loss Records
Category Description P W L D
Matches Win-Loss Total Matches from 1953 - 2018 756 302 328 126
Series Win-Loss Total 54 series vs. 25 countries 54 21 27 6
Arch Rival Win-Loss Maximum Matches vs. Japan 64 14 34 16
  • Tournament Records
Category Description TP G S B
IOC/FIH Tournaments Olympics 2 0 0 0
  World Cup 7 0 0 0
  Hockey World League Semi-finals 3 0 0 0
  Hockey World League Round 2 2 2 0 0
  Hockey World League Round 1 1 1 0 0
  Olympic Qualifier 3 0 1 0
  World Cup Qualifier 5 0 0 0
  World Cup Preliminaries 2 0 0 2
  Champions Challenge Cup 4 0 0 1
  Champions Challenge II 1 1 0 0
  IOC/FIH Total 30 4 1 3
Continental Tournaments Asian Games 10 1 2 3
  Asia Cup 8 2 2 2
  Asian Champions Trophy 5 1 2 2
  Commonwealth Games 6 1 1 0
  Afro-Asian Games 1 1 0 0
  South Asian Games 1 1 0 0
  Continental Total 31 7 7 7
Invitational Tournaments Indira Gandhi International Gold Cup 7 1 3 0
  Asian Ladies Hockey Association Cup 1 1 0 0
  Hockey Australia Cup 3 0 0 0
  KT Cup - South Korea 1 0 0 0
  Takamado (Japan) Gold Cup 1 0 0 0
  Tri-Nation Cups 4 2 2 0
  Other Invitational Cups 17 2 3 2
  Lal Bahadur Shastri International Gold Cup 1 1 0 0
  Begum Rasool Trophy 1 1 0 0
  4-Nation Tournaments - New Zealand 4 0 0 1
  4-Nation Tournaments - Argentina 2 0 0 2
  Invitational Total 42 8 8 5
  GRAND TOTAL 103 19 16 15