Dhyanchand – Magician of Hockey
Dhyanchand – Magician of Hockey
Hockey Master Dhyanchand Singh
Hockey is the national sport of India. India once had a monopoly on hockey. The Indian team is struggling to qualify for the Olympic Games, which has won a number of gold medals. All that remains are memories of that golden age.
Major Dhyanchand, known as the ‘Magician of Hockey’, gave India the experience of a golden age. His birthday on August 29 will be celebrated everywhere today as ‘National Sports Day’.
Major Dhyanchand is still revered as one of the greatest players in the world of hockey, not just in Indian hockey. He is known all over the world as the magician of hockey. His prowess in the dribbling was so great that everyone thought the ball was attracted to his stick like a magnet.
In the final match of the 1936 Indo-German Olympics, Dhyan Chand’s intimacy drove even dictator Adolf Hitler crazy. Overwhelmed by his extraordinary skills, Hitler offered to grant him German citizenship and to promote him to the rank of Major and Colonel in the English Indian Army, but the patriot and self-respecting Dhyanchand politely declined.
In honor of such a great sportsperson, his birthday on August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day in India and on this day Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award are distributed by the President. In addition, the Dhyan Chand Award has been given since 2002 as the highest Lifetime Achievement Award in the sport. The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an athlete who has excelled in the sport during his career and who has sacrificed his life for the sport even after retirement.
Dhyan Chand was born on 29 August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Sameshwar Dutt Singh, was in the Indian Army and was frequently transferred. Due to this reason, Dhyan Chand’s education could not be completed after the first six years.
His father got a piece of land in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh after his retirement and settled there. Dhyanchand had two brothers, Moolsingh and Roopsingh. He loved wrestling as a child, but did not know much about hockey until he joined the Army. He joined the Army in 1922 at the age of 16. At that time, while playing hockey matches in the Army Regiment, his dribbling skills caught the eye of Major Bale Tiwari and he learned hockey techniques and skills from Dhyan Chand.
Therefore, from 1922 to 1926, he displayed his extraordinary skills in the regiment and in various competitions. Due to his performance, he was selected in the Indian Army team to tour New Zealand. He won 18 matches, drew two and lost the only match of the tour. He later won the first of two Tests against New Zealand, but lost the second. On his return from the tour, Dhyan Chand was promoted to Lance Naik.
Since hockey was first included in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, the Hockey Federation of India had organized an inter-pargana tournament to select the Indian team. It consisted of five teams – United Provinces, Punjab, Bengal, Rajputana and Central Provinces. Dhyanchand obtained Army permission to play for the United Provinces team in the tournament.
Dhyan Chand and Inside Wright Martin, who play as center forwards, put on a unique show and the United Provinces won the tournament comfortably. Dhyanchand’s skillful performance captivated everyone and ensured his entry into the Indian hockey team for the Olympics.
The Indian team arrived in Mumbai before heading to Amsterdam for the Olympics, but lost 3-2 in a warm-up match against Mumbai.
However, after India went to Amsterdam for 11 practice matches in England and later for the Olympics, teams like Holland, Belgium and Germany were beaten in the practice matches. In the first Olympics, India defeated Austria 6-0 and beat Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland in the final.
In the final, Dhyanchand defeated host Netherlands 3-0 to give India its first hockey gold medal. He scored 14 goals in five matches and spread his fame as a magician in the field of hockey. After the victory of this team, which was given a cold welcome on the way, it was welcomed in the home country. In the 1932 Olympics, the Indian team remained undefeated and once again clinched the Olympic gold medal with a 24-1 victory over the United States.
The Indian team arrived in Berlin for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and lost 4-1 to Germany in the first practice match. After the defeat, Dhyan Chand’s team defeated Hungary, USA, Japan and France in the final. However, the Indian team was a bit nervous as they would be playing against host Germany. However, Dhyanchand’s magical performance did not give Jayaman a chance to lift his head at the start of the final and India celebrated their Olympic gold medal hat-trick with an 8-1 victory. Dhyanchand has scored 33 goals in 12 matches in three Olympics.
Cricket’s greatest batsman Don Bradman and Dhyan Chand once met. They met in 1935 while the Indian hockey team was touring Australia. At the time, Bradman was praising Dhyan Chand, saying that Dhyan Chand scores as well as he should in cricket. In a sense, it really is, because he has scored more than a thousand goals in his career.
He won gold medals for India at the 1928 Amsterdam, 1932 Los Angeles and 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1956, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award.
Hockey master Dhyanchand Singh
Hockey said that the name Major Dhyanchand comes to mind first. His education is only up to 6th standard.
Dhyan Chand, who won the match by scoring 4 goals for the losing 0-2 team, got the opportunity to join the army as a soldier at the age of 16. At the national level too, he was selected to play for the Indian team after scoring 3 goals in the last 4 minutes to give the team a 0-2 victory. During the 1926 tour of New Zealand, India scored 192 goals in 21 matches, of which 100 were scored by Dhyanchand alone. India won the 1928 Olympic Hockey Championship. India have not conceded a single goal in five matches of the tournament. On the contrary, India had scored 29 goals. The hero of this competition was Dhyan Chand.
Dhyan Chand scored two of the three goals in the 3-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, India lost 23-1 to the United States. This peak was unaffected till 2003. Dhyan Chand had scored 8 goals. They beat Hungary 4-0, USA 7-0, Japan 9-0, France 10-0 and Germany 8-1. He rejected the job offered to him by Hitler at the top of his army out of self-respect and patriotism.
Dhyanchand’s hockey game is a beautiful combination of ball and steak. Dhyan Chand was honored with the Padma Bhushan in 1956. He is not alive today but his birthday August 29 is celebrated as National Sport Day in India.