Autobiography of Hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand
Published by Sport & Pastime, Chennai, 1952
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|Unlike in 1928, control of the IHF
affairs had passed largely into the hands of civilians by 1932. With that, my
sources of information had dried up.
Being stationed in a cantonment town, we were in the thick of army life, and entirely divorced from civilian contact. In such a scenario, I was wondering whether an Indian team would be sent, and if so, what chances I had of being included in the Olympic team.
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he Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was in two minds regarding participating in the 1932 Olympic Games. Los Angeles was more than twice the distance from India as was Amsterdam, and naturally, expenses would be much greater.
Critics pointed out that since most of the countries were not participating in the hockey tournament in Los Angeles, it was not worthwhile spending a huge amount of money in sending an Indian team.
During this time, I was posted up North with my Punjab regiment. I hardly read any newspaper, but used to keep in touch with events through my friends, officers and brother soldiers.
Unlike in 1928, when the affairs of the IHF were largely controlled by the Army Sports Control Board and I had more opportunities of knowing what was happening behind the scenes, by 1932, control had passed largely into the hands of civilians. With that, my sources of information had dried up.
Being stationed in a cantonment town, we were in the thick of army life and entirely divorced from civilian contact. In such a scenario, I was wondering whether an Indian team would be sent, and if so, what chances I had of being included in the Olympic team.
I was very happy and thrilled to learn that the IHF, in the face of adverse criticism, had decided to defend the Olympic hockey title. However, to my utter disappointment, my regimental authorities decided not to release me for a fortnight to take part in the selection trials, namely the inter-provincial tournament to be held in Kolkata.
I was told that the Army Sports Control Board felt that I should be included in the Olympic team without the formality of any trial. They felt that I had established my claims for inclusion in every first class fixture that I had played in, and that the IHF needed to include me straightaway as the centre-forward.
Even though I was assured I would be included directly into the team, I felt it was an unenviable preference shown to me when many of my 1928 Olympiad comrades were fighting for a place in the team, and had to prove their mettle in the inter-provincial tournament.
I was also keen to see what new talent had developed over the past four years. I longed to be in Kolkata for the tournament, even as a spectator, but even that was denied to me.
I had to be satisfied with sparse reports in newspapers, which carried very little news of sporting events those days. A friend in Kolkata obliged me by sending cuttings from that city's papers, which gave a fair coverage of the tournament.
Official Report of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games