Autobiography of Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand
Published by Sport & Pastime, Chennai, 1952
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Foreword / Preface
|I was present at the match in which Dhyan Chand earned
the name "The Wizard". It was the final of the Punjab
Infantry tournament in Jhelum. His side was losing the match by two goals,
and with only four minutes to go, his Commanding Officer called out to him,
"Come on Dhyan! Do something about it."
Dhyan Chand then proceeded to do something about it, and scored three goals in four minutes and led his side to victory.
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consider it a very great honour to be asked to write a foreword for this book. I have known Dhyan Chand since 1924, and was present at the match in which he earned the name "The Wizard".
It was the final of the Punjab Indian Infantry tournament in Jhelum. His side was losing the match by two goals, and with only four minutes to go, his Commanding Officer called out to him, "Come on Dhyan! We are two goals down, do something about it." Dhyan Chand then proceeded to do something about it, and scored three goals in four minutes and led his side to victory.
Dhyan Chand has been, and is, the world's greatest hockey player. But besides being the world's greatest hockey player, Dhyan Chand is also a great gentleman - modest, unassuming, quiet and unspoilt by all the applause and adulation he has received. We cannot all be Dhyan Chands, but we all can certainly model our manners and deportment on his example in the field of sport.
Dhyan Chand has put India on the world map in sport. We want another like him; many more like him. And so I say, read these memoirs and the instructional chapters, and play the game as he has played it.
Major-General A. A. Rudra
ou are doubtless aware that I am a common man, and then a soldier. It has been my training from my very childhood to avoid limelight and publicity. I have chosen a profession where I have been taught to be a soldier, and nothing beyond that.
I have chosen as my most favourite sport a game, which unlike other sports, has no statisticians or historians in this country. You will, therefore, forgive me if my memoirs have not been chronicled in the correct sequence, and if I have not been able to present all the statistics and records of matches I have played, and the goals that I have scored.
I do not think man's intelligence could have conceived of a more fascinating game than hockey. Perhaps I am wrong because I have not played other games. But tell me which game is as fast as hockey? Which game is packed with so many thrilling moments in the short space of 70 minutes. In which game are you asked to wield dangerous weapons such as sticks, and yet use them with so much skill that no one gets hurt.
Every since I started playing this beautiful game, I became one of its great devotees. To me hockey has almost been a religion. More than anything else, I owe to this sport a great deal for what I am today. But for hockey I would not have made so many friends, and I would not have travelled far and wide.
Hockey is a game of great skill. To play it well is an art by itself. It calls for intelligence, keen eyes, powerful wrists, physical fitness and speed of mind and body. It also calls for great sportsmanship, tolerance and coolness. In short, hockey demands the best in you, both as a player and as a man.
Often situations arise during a game when you are provoked. But you should exercise tolerance and show sportsmanship by putting restraint on your temper, and then the game will go on serenely as if nothing has happened. But if you take one false step, the field becomes an ugly scene. You lose your value both as a player and as a man.
I must here mention the invaluable help I received from the great centre-half Manna Singh in the preparation of the instructions part, and Mr. Pankaj Gupta in writing the Memoirs. I must also express my gratitude to the Editor, Sport & Pastime, but for whose insistence I would not have undertaken this, to me, unimagined task of writing.
Dhyan Singh Becomes 'Hockey Wizard' Dhyan Chand