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Major Dhyan Chand
Dhyan Chand was an Indian field hockey player, who is widely considered as the greatest field hockey
11. Awards Achievements
For his extra ordinary services to the nation, the Government of India celebrates Dhyan Chands birthday (29th of August) as National Sports Day. The Indian Postal Service issued a postage stamp in his memory, and the Dhyan Chand National Stadium at New Delhi has been named after him. He was honored by the Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India in the year 1956.
12. Olympic fame
Indian hockey team made its Olympic debut in 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and went on to won the countrys first ever Olympic gold medal. Major Dhyan Chand was the top scorer of the tournament with 14 goals in just 5 matches with his brilliant piece of game plan. The team received a grand welcome from the authorities and fans. Indian team went on to win the next edition of Olympics also which was held in Los Angeles in 1932. India defeated the host, USA with a margin of 24 1 in the final match, which was a world record at that time. After that Indian hockey team had tours to Europe only to be victorious at each place that they had landed. For the next season of Olympics, Major became captain. This time games were held in Berlin in 1936. The result was same in Berlin too as India clinched the gold medal again. Dhyan Chand scored six goals in the final match against Germany in which India had won with a margin of 8 1. At that time, Indian hockey team was a dominant force in international arena.
13. Career in Army
During this period his rank showed tremendous improvement in less time as he was the super star of Indian hockey team. He was promoted to Lieutenant rank in 1937. In 1951, he was honored by the Indian National hockey by naming a hockey tournament after him as Dhyan Chand tournament. He retired from Indian army in 1956 at the age of 51. He was with the rank of Major at the time of retirement. He had held coaching camps in Rajasthan after his retirement and later appointed as chief coach at National Institute of Patiala.
You 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 mans 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.
15. Manushree Chaumal
Fifty years ago, India breathed hockey. The India that breathes cricket today, considered hockey as its religion then. What Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket now, Dhyan Chand was to hockey then.Ever since the induction of the sportspersons for nomination to the Bharat Ratna, a massive debate has engaged the nation Who deserves the Bharat Ratna more, batting stalwart Tendulkar or Dhyan Chand? There is no doubt that Tendulkars contribution to Indian sports is phenomenal, but it is high time that Dhyan Chand is given his due credit.
16. Berlin Summer Olympics
If anybody asked me which was the best match that I played in, I will unhesitatingly say that it was the 1933 Beighton Cup final between Calcutta Customs and Jhansi Heroes. Calcutta Customs was a great side those days; they had Shaukat Ali, Asad Ali, Claude Deefholts, Seaman, Mohsin, and many others who were then in the first flight of Indian hockey.I had a very young side. Besides my brother Roop Singh, and Ismail, who played for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in Mumbai, I had no other really great player in the team. But I had a team which was determined to do or die. It was a great match, full of thrills, and it was just opportunism that gave us the victory. Customs were pressing hard and our goal was at their mercy. Suddenly I broke through and from midfield gave a long through pass to Ismail, who ran with Jesse Owens speed half the length of the ground. A misunderstanding occurred between the Customs left half and the goalkeeper, and Ismail, taking every advantage of it, cut through and netted the only goal of the match. We felt very proud of our triumph.
In Kolkata, the Heroes also won the Lakshmibilas Cup tournament, which was open only to Indian teams. In 1935, they successfully defended their Beighton Cup title, though lost the subsequent year.In December 1934, the IHF decided to send a team to New Zealand in the new year. Chand and his brother were immediately selected. When the Nawab of Manavadar declined to play, Chand was appointed captain. In the subsequent tour, the team played a total of 48 matches on this tour, with 28 in New Zealand and the remainder in India, Ceylon and Australia. India won every match, scoring 584 goals and conceding only 40. Of these 48 matches, Chand played 43 and scored a total of 201 goals.
17. East African tour and final tournaments
After returning from Berlin, Chand joined his regiment. Between 1936 and the commencement of the War in 1939, he largely confined himself to army hockey, with one visit to Kolkata to take part in the Beighton Cup tournament in 1937. After the Beighton Cup, Chand spent four months in a military camp in Pachmarhi to attend military classes. Later, he was promoted to Lieutenant.Towards the closing phases of the war, Chand led an army hockey team which toured around the battlefields in Manipur, Burma, the Far East and Ceylon. When the war ended in 1945, Chand decided that the Indian hockey team needed new young players. In 1947, the IHF was requested by the Asian Sports Association (ASA) of East Africa to send a team to play a series of matches. The ASA made a condition that Chand should be included in the team. Once again, Chand was chosen as captain.The team assembled in Bombay on 23 November 1947, and reached Mombasa on 15 December and played 9 matches in British East Africa winning all. Chand, though now in his forties, still managed to score 61 goals in 22 matches.
After returning from the East African tour in early 1948, Chand decided to gradually phase out his involvement in serious hockey. He played exhibition matches, leading a Rest of India side against state teams and the 1948 Olympic team which defeated Chands side 2 1, even though an aging Chand scored his sides lone goal. Chands last match was leading the Rest of India team against the Bengal side. The match ended in a draw after which the Bengal Hockey Association organized a public function to honor Chands services to Indian hockey.
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.
19. Last Moments
The last days of Dhyan Chand were not very happy, as he was short of money and was badly ignored by the nation. He developed liver cancer, and was sent to a general ward at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He died on the 3rd of December 1979.
Though having great legacy he died on 3rd December, 1979 in AIIMS, Delhi in a general ward, which is a tough fact to digest. In final days, Dhyan Chand felt sad as he was short of money and was badly ignored by the nation.Two months before he died, Dhyan Chand made a statement that shows his state of mind, When I die, the world will cry, but Indias people will not shed a tear for me, I know them. His autobiography Goal was published by Sport & Pastime, Chennai in 1952. His son, Ashok Kumar Singh was a member of indian hockey team which won the 1975 World Championship.
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