|46th Anniversary Of The 1975 World Cup Win - Top Ten Facts
Based on "46th Anniversary of 1975 World Cup Win: 46 Facts you should Know"
Original article and Graphic courtesy Stick2Hockey.com
years ago, on 15 March, 1975, India won its first and only World Cup in
hockey. Here are top ten facts from that milestone event in Indian
1. Asia Hosting for the First Time: The Men's Hockey World Cup was
played in Asia for the first time in 1975. The first two editions were
held in Barcelona (1971) and Amsterdam (1973). Mumbai was the original
host of the 1975 World Cup, but the it got moved to Kuala Lumpur.
2. Record Crowd for a Hockey Final: 70,000 watched the final at the
Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, a record equalled two decades later in 1990 (Lahore).
3. Dysfunctional and Disaffiliated IHF: Amidst
infighting between two factions of the IHF, the FIH disaffiliated the Indian
Hockey Federation. As a result, India went to Kuala Lumpur under the banner of the
Indian Olympic Association.
4. Life Father, Like Son: Back in 1936, Dhyan Chand and Ahmed Sher
Khan won gold for India in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1975, their sons
Ashok Kumar and Aslam Sher Khan won gold for India in the 1975 World Cup. Aslam's
contribution - he came as a substitute with only 4 minutes left and scored the tying goal in the semi-final against Malaysia,
a match which India won in extra-time. Ashok Kumar's
contribution - he scored the goal that won India the World Cup against Pakistan.
5. Arch-rival Pakistan: The only time India and Pakistan have met in
a World Cup final in any sport is the 1975 Hockey World Cup in
Kuala Lumpur. India emerged victorious in this battle between arch rivals.
6. The legendary Balbir Singh Sr, three-time Olympic gold medallist, was the manager and de facto head coach
of the India team. During the training camp in Chandigarh, his father
passed away. Balbir Sr. missed only one day of overseeing training
during the whole camp - the day his father was cremated. Balbir Sr.
dutifully followed his father's advice, "Duty first, self and everything
7. Triple Medal Count: Four India players - Ashok Kumar, Michael Kindo,
Ajitpal Singh and Harcharan Singh - won bronze at the 1971 World Cup,
silver at the 1973 World Cup and gold at the 1975 World Cup. India has
not won a medal in any Hockey World Cup since then.
8. Tale of Two Prime Ministers: Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razaak
presented the World Cup to Ajitpal Singh. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi invited the
triumphant team over for a felicitation. When she was shown the
magnificent World Cup trophy that was donated by Pakistan, the astute
prime minister pointed out to a distortion in the map of Kashmir on the
globe engraved on the trophy.
9. Tale of two Broadcasting Legends: Jasdev Singh (Hindi) and
Melville D'Mello (English) were the AIR commentators at
Kuala Lumpur 1975. They were also the commentators the previous time
India won a world event in hockey - the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
10. Bollywood Celebrates Hockey: Victory celebrations in India
continued for next six months! One event stands out because of its
uniqueness - the World Cup team played a
match against the top Bollywood stars at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which attracted a huge crowd.
|How Quickly Have We Forgotten India's Only World Cup Win
Photograph of the 1975 World Cup winning team courtesy Hockey India
ndian hockey wrote a historic chapter 46 years ago on
15 March, 1975 in Kuala Lumpur arch rival Pakistan by 2-1 in a thrilling final. Ashok Kumar,
who scored the winning goal in the final, looks back on the World Cup
with a mixture of pride at that singular achievement, and disappointment that
his countrymen have gradually forgotten their feat.
Says Ashok Kumar, "What is a bigger
example of nationalism than bringing laurels for your country. That win
in 1975 brought smiles on the faces of every citizen of this country, across
caste, religion, status, gender lines," he told PTI Bhasha.
He said the World Cup final win against Pakistan was one of the most
impactful matches in the history of Indian hockey. "India's 1975 World Cup triumph had created a
tehelka (storm) at the time. Before this win, India had
been labelled as a team of silver and bronze medallists. With this
triumph, we removed that label," he stated.
"People still recall the radio commentary of that match. Hockey was
a symbol of nationalism those days. I remember how Raj Kapoor organised
a friendly match between our team and Bollywood team. The whole film
fraternity turned out in Wankhede stadium to watch that," he said.
On his return to Jhansi, he was given a hero's welcome. The
three-km route from Jhansi railway station to his house took four hours
to reach. At home, his father, the legend Dhyan Chand, was waiting for him.
Says Ashok Kumar, "When I reached home, 'dadu' (his father Dhyan Chand) patted my back in
appreciation. It was a rare occasion when he touched me, since out
of sheer respect, I used to keep a distance from him."
The 1975 win remains a jewel in the crown for Indian hockey. During training, the
players got ₹50 as daily allowance for their diet. After their World Cup win, the
players were gifted a scooter on their return to India.
being short, the 1975 World Cup heroics are unknown to the present
generation. Ashok Kumar signs off, "Who remembers all that now. There is not a single
mention of the Hockey World Cup win anywhere on television on 15th
March every year. We do not get any congratulatory calls on this day. The
television channels have been busy celebrating actress Alia Bhatt's
birthday since morning."
|Hockey On Television Screens Is Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
Star Sports calendar of sporting events - graphic credit
has lost the viewership battle on Indian television, with zero live
events for the past 365 days. The Star Sports schedule for 2021 shows
cricket driving the sporting calendar with nine tournaments, and
non-cricketing events such as Formula One, English Premier League, Hero
Indian Super League and the Tennis majors making up the rest.
With hockey nowhere in the mix, it is a case of out of sight, out of
mind for hockey fans. The reality is that televised sports follows the
money, and unfortunately, there is no money in televising hockey in
Star Sports has acquired rights for 140-150 days of cricket
broadcasting this year on Star Sports and Hotstar Disney, and has been
able to monetize the rights. Star Sports is coming off a successful 2020
IPL, which generated advertising revenue of over ₹2,700 crore
for the host broadcaster Disney-Star - even though it was held outside
India, and with no in-stadia audience. Star Sports was able to garner
110 sponsors last year.
The India-England bilateral series attracted 18 sponsors, including
Dream11, Byju's, Ceat, Maruti Suzuki, Oppo, Amazon and Mondelez India,
among others. Cricket events in the line-up include the Asia Cup, World
T20, and India's tour to South Africa.
Sanjog Gupta of Star Sports said that they are looking at starting
two-three more regional feeds to boost IPL's reach in 2021, in addition
to the Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali feeds.
Advertisers on board for IPL 2021 include Byju's, ITC, Just Dial, MRF,
Maruti Suzuki, besides new entrants Asian Paints, Parle and Kamla
With so much of the audience share already taken up by other sports,
and with no live hockey programming for more than a year, televised
hockey in India is dying a slow death, unnoticed and unmourned by Indian
|Indian Men Win 2-Test Hockey Series vs. Great Britain In Antwerp
Chinglensana Singh vs. Samuel Ward in India vs.
Great Britain in Antwerp. Photo credit World Sport Pics
world no. 4 Indian men's team played a 2-test series against world no. 7
Great Britain in Antwerp. These matches were counted as friendlies
(uncapped) by Great Britian. India won the 2-test series, with the following match results:
||Goal Scorers - India
||India 1 - Great Britain 1
||Simranjeet Singh (57 min)
||India 3 - Great Britain 2
||Harmanpreet Singh (1 min), PC
(28 min-PC, 59 min)
The 22-member Indian men's hockey squad was as follows:
Goalkeepers: P. R. Sreejesh (captain), Krishan Bahadur Pathak
Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh,
Harmanpreet Singh (vice-captain), Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh,
Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh, Neelakantha Sharma, Hardeek
Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Rajkumar Pal, Simranjeet Singh, Shamsher
Singh, Akashdeep Singh
Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh,
Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay
|Photograph of the Month
Based on article by Prakash Bhandari of
The Times of India, photo credit Getty Images
Photograph of the Month for April 2021 is of the late commentator Jasdev
Singh. This was taken in 2008, when he was honoured with the Padma
Bhushan award at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The following article accompanied
the photograph in the Times of India.
In the era of the radio, when major sports event like the Olympics,
Asian Games, World Cup hockey, and international hockey and cricket
tests were covered by the All India Radio (AIR), millions of sports
buffs would tune in. Several generations grew up listening to the radio
commentary, which only grew in popularity with the advent of transistor
radios in the early 1960s. Sports broadcasters had a large following all
over the country.
Jasdev Singh, who began his career in 1955 from AIR, Jaipur, gave
Hindi sports commentary respectability with his deft description of the
play in the middle, and by his speed and accuracy. Jasdev Singh excelled in hockey
commentary, and the manner in which he followed the moving ball with his super-fast
commmentary made people wonder whether he had a motor in his mouth. Such was his
popularity in Pakistan, that whenever India and
Pakistan clashed in an international hockey fixture, like the Asian Games,
World Cup or the Olympics, many hockey fans in Pakistan would tune in to AIR
to hear Jasdev.
Once when Jasdev had gone to Karachi for an assignment, and was roaming in the market in
his spare time, a blind person requested for help to cross the crowded street. When
Jasdev Singh spoke to him, the person asked whether he was Jasdev Singh as his
voice resembled the Indian commentator. When Jasdev said yes, the blind
man could not believe his ears and said that he was a great fan of
In the third Hockey World Cup held at Kuala Lumpur in 1975, Jasdev
was there to give commentary in the India-Pakistan World Cup final. India won the
match, and the commentary was heard by Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi herself in her office. When the triumphant Indian team returned, the Prime Minister
feted the Indian team. During the felicitation function when Jasdev Singh was
introduced to late Indira Gandhi, she admitted that she heard his
commentary with bated breath during the final.
Even after four decades, the voice of the legendary Jasdev Singh
describing the winning moments of the 1975 World Cup reverberates in the
minds of millions of Indians.
"Aur yeh free hit mila 25 gaj ki doori se dayen flank par
Pakistan ke Iftikar ko. Aur ye hit lagaya. Ab gend Akhtar Rasool ke
Gend Bharat ke D mein bayi or se, jahan chaukanni hai puri team.
Ajitpal ne khoobsurti se gend apne D se bahar kar di. Aur yeh khel
Bharat 2-1 se jeet gaya. Bharat vishwa hockey champion hai!"
Born in Baoli village, near Jaipur in the family of an overseer of
Jaipur state, Jasdev Singh became fascinated with radio commentary after
hearing Melville de Mellow's marathon commentary in English of Mahatma
Gandhi's funeral in Delhi in 1948. He made up his mind to
become a broadcaster, and after graduation, he joined AIR
Jaipur as an announcer. His romance with sports commentary began in a
humble way, when he started doing sports commentary on the
public-address system during sports events in Jaipur. He shifted to
Delhi and then established himself as a sports commentator. He was not confined
to sports, and also gave commentary on Republic Day, Independence
Day and other mega-events.
He along with Melville de Mellow teamed together to give commentary
at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in 1964, and had hockey buffs in both India and in Pakistan glued to the radio.
This was a crucial Olympics for India, as they had lost the hockey gold to Pakistan in
the 1960 Rome Olympics. Jasdev excelled in his description of the pulsating final, with
the late Mohinder Lal scoring the winning goal for India.
Jasdev's broadcasting journey saw him cover 9 Olympics, 8 Hockey World Cups, 6 Asian Games
and numerous hockey and cricket test. He shifted from radio to
television, and he retired as Deputy Director General (Sports) of Doordarshan.
A recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, his biggest
honour came when he was given the Olympic Order, the highest award of
the Olympic movement. He also acted in a Hollywood film, the "The Wind
Cannot Read", a film based on the second World War that was filmed in
Jaipur in the late fifties. He acted as a Sikh soldier.
Indian men's and women's hockey teams have received a financial boost
from the Indian government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), under
which the core group of men's and women's Indian hockey internationals
will get a monthly allowance of ₹50,000 till the Tokyo
TOPS is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and
Sports that aims to provide assistance to India's top athletes
and potential medal winners in their preparations for the Olympics.
Manpreet Singh, the current captain of the Indian men's hockey team
expressed his happiness at the announcement. He shared how the Indian
men's hockey team consists of players from challenging economic
backgrounds, and how having a monthly allowance will help them continue
pursuing their hockey dreams and participate in the Olympic Games.
The women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal was thrilled by the fact
that this was the first time the Indian women's hockey core group was
being included in TOPS. Just like the Indian men's team captain, Rani
Rampal express her gratitude for the financial support. She added that
the decision shows that women's hockey is being given equal importance
and equal benefits by the government as compared to the men's team,
which is encouraging for Indian women's hockey.
58 hockey stars will get the TOPS monthly allowance till the Tokyo Olympics - this includes
33 players from the Indian men's core group and 25 from the women's core
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, TOPS-sponsored athletes P. V. Sindhu and
Sakshi Malik captured silver and bronze in badminton and wrestling,
respectively. In the 2016 Paralympic Games, TOPS athletes won 2 gold, 1
silver and 1 bronze, demonstrating the effectiveness of the scheme.
Books has published the book "How India won its Olympic medals 1900 -
2016" written by noted sports author Vijayan Bala. The book contains
interviews of our individual Olympic medal winners in different sports.
We come to know the struggles the winners had to overcome on their way
to achieve Olympic success.
The book is of special interest for hockey lovers, as it takes the
readers from 1928 (Our First Hockey Gold 1928 Amsterdam Olympics) all
the way to 1980 (India Wins Hockey Gold after 16 Years in Moscow
Olympics). The book provides interesting snippets like:
- In 1964 there were two Germanys - West Germany and East Germany.
Which Germany participated in the 1964 Olympics hockey?
- Who was the renowned Indian hockey goalkeeper who died of gangrene
in the very legs with which he protected India's goal and won gold
medals for India?
- Who is the only Indian (and possibly in the world) to play
international hockey with spectacles?
- Which Indian hockey players have won the Vir Chakra for
gallantry awarded by the Indian Army?
Gurbux Singh, 1964 hockey gold medalist and joint-captain of bronze
medal winning team in 1968 Mexico Olympics has written, "I have known
Vijayan for many years and also done television commentary with him.
Apart from being a reputed educationist, Vijayan follows sports very
closely and has a deep understanding and knowledge of hockey and other
sports. I am confident that his book on Indian Olympic medal winners
will be enjoyed by youngsters and sports enthusiasts as it is both
informative and interesting. I wish Vijayan and his book all the best."
The author has been Vice-Principal of Army Public School in New
Delhi, and Principal of Raunaq Public School near Sonepat.
Vijayan Bala has been an English commentator for All India
Radio and Doordarshan, covering hockey, cricket and football.
The book was published in December 2020 and has 152 pages. It is available
in paperback for ₹199 and the Kindle edition costs ₹99.
Those interested in getting copies of the book can contact the author
on his mobile number 9990570304.
|Fun With Numbers
Statistics by B. G. Joshi
April 2021 edition of Fun with Numbers is on countries with which the Indian men's hockey
team has played a century of matches.
- There are 6 countries against which the Indian men's team has played
100 or more matches - 2 from Asia (PAK, MAS), 2 from Europe (NED, GER)
and 2 from Oceania (AUS, NZL)
- India won the debut matches against all these six countries
- India's debut match against Netherlands was in the 1928 Olympic
final, and debut match against Pakistan was in the 1956 Olympic final
- Against both Pakistan and Malaysia, India won the first match, the
100th match and the most recent match
- India reached the century of matches quickest against Pakistan (in
47 years, from 1956 to 2003)
- Melbourne has hosted both India's first match against Australia
(1935) and India's first match against Pakistan (1956)
||Most Recent Match
||Dec 6, 1956
||IND 1 - PAK 0
||May 31, 2003
||IND 2 - PAK 0
||Oct 20, 2018
||IND 3 - PAK 1
||Aug 17, 1935
||IND 12 - AUS 1
||Jun 9, 2014
||IND 0 - AUS 4
||Feb 22, 2020
||IND 2 - AUS 2
||Jun 4, 1932
||IND 7 - MAS 0
||Dec 1, 2011
||IND 5 - MAS 4
||Aug 17, 2019
||IND 6 - MAS 0
||May 26, 1928
||IND 3 - NED 0
||Dec 6, 2015
||IND 5 - NED 5
||Jan 19, 2020
||IND 3 - NED 3
||Jun 26, 1926
||IND 5 - NZL 2
||Aug 18, 2019
||IND 1 - NZL 2
||Aug 21, 2019
||IND 5 - NZL 0
||Sep 11, 1932
||IND 6 - GER 0
||Mar 2, 2021
||IND 1 - GER 1