Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stalwarts of 1975 World Cup-winning team feted

Hockey India (HI) felicitated the 13 living members of the 1975 World Cup winning team at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi. The captain of the 1975 World Cup winning side Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar who scored the winning goal in the final, Aslam Sher Khan, Brigadier (retd) Harcharan Singh, Leslie Fernandez, Varinder Singh, Ashok Diwan, Michael Kindo, BP Govinda, Brigadier (retd) HJS Chimni, VJ Phillips, Onkar Singh and Kaliah PE were each honoured with a cheque of Rs.175,000.

The cash rewards were seen as a recognition coming too late in the day for their magnificent efforts 39 years back.

Three players – Surjit Singh and Shivaji Pawar and Mohinder Singh – who passed away during this period  were represented by their family members on their behalf. The widows of Surjit Singh and Shivaji Pawar and the brother of late Mohinder Singh collected the cheques.

Surprisingly, legendary Balbir Singh Senior, who was the chief coach of the 1975 World Cup, was not part of the felicitation programme.

BJP stalwart and Hockey India League advisory board member Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ajit M. Sharan, secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Jiji Thomson, Director General Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Rajeev Mehta, secretary general Indian Olympic Association (IOA) graced the function.

One hopes the recognition of these stalwarts will pump up the Indian senior men’s team for the upcoming World Cup.
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