How Hockey came into existence:History of Hockey in India
September 30, 2019
Hockey, one of the world's most ancient games, is older than even the ancient Olympic Games. But do you know that India had, in fact, a great history behind the hockey? It is the history of pride, it is the history of cherishing and joy.
Is Hockey a National Game of India?
Whether Hockey is a national game of India, is a controversial one, though most of the people consider it to be a national game of India. In 2012 when the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had been asked by a ten years old girl when the government of India had notified hockey as a national game, the reply was that there was no such record available in the archive.
British Rule and Indian Hockey Team
It was the British Empire rule that made hockey highly widespread in the Indian sub-continent in the late 19th century. The first hockey club was established in Calcutta in 1885. Beighton Cup Tournament was organized in Calcutta in 1895. Aga Khan Tournament in the then Bombay, now Mumbai, and Maharashtra were organized. Again in the late 20th Century, the Hot Weather Tournament of Lahore became very popular also, without even media coverage, and then India did not have any central body of hockey.
The birth of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF)
In 1925 on November 7th all the hockey associations and clubs assembled in Gwalior, a renowned city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. And such a gathering led into the establishment of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).
The first-ever trip!
The first-ever trip for the Indian hockey was to New Zealand, where India played 21 matches and won 18, lost 1 and draw 2 matches. Indian Hockey Team scored 192 goals in that tour. Dhyan Chand, became the hero, in that very tour with his extraordinary skill and tactics. The audience became spellbound by his performance.
Later Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) applied for the global membership and received the authorization of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the year 1927, which indeed opened the door for India to take part in the Olympic Games in 1928.
A young boy, named Jaipal Singh, a student of Oxford at Balliol. was given the responsibility as a captain of Indian Hockey Team. SM Yusuf and Nawab of Pataudi had also been selected, when they were staying in Britain. An Indian team of about 15 players was nominated. They also rehashed. But a difficulty crippled as two players, Rex A Norris and Shaukat All had to be released from the team due to insufficient monetary fund. The supporter of Bengal came forward and organized the money for them.Although Pataudi and Yusuf could not participate.
Lost in the Practice Match!
The Indian Olympic team played a practice match against Bombay. The Olympians lost to the Bombay team by 2-3. It was Dhyan Chand who scored both the goals. And after such a loss in this match, Indian people expected average performance from the Olympic Team.
The team woke up against Clubs!
India played some preparation matches in London, where the team totally baffled each of its opposition, with skill and talents. Yes, India smacked the club sides. A new rumor spread that Great Britain won’t send its team to avoid the humiliation at the hands of India. The press of the British appreciated Indian team and reflected that India was the favorites to win the gold medal.
Indian Team started The Tournament like the haunted tiger!
Same year on the 17th of May, India won by 6-0 against Austria. Dhyan Chand scored a hat-trick. even before the first half, He scored the fourth goal after the second half. Shaukat Ali scored the fifth. Yes, it was that Shaukat Ali, who was released from the team due to inadequate funds earlier. Maurice Gately scored the sixth goal. Indian newspapers appreciated such a great victory. In fact, the whole country was very happy with such an extraordinary performance. The second test was against Belgium. Indian team won by 9-0. Belgium was one of the strongest teams.
India won against Denmark with an exciting match, though Denmark resisted strongly against Dhyan Chand. Then India played against the Switzerland Team. Without any difficulties, India won by 6-0. India had set up a closing clash with the home team Holland on the 26th of May when the Indian side was left without Feroze Khan as he was hurt and Shaukat Ali, who was not well before the game.
First Ever Olympic Gold Medal by Indian Hockey Team
At the halfway Jaipal went out of the team before the semifinal, being depressed according to some reports. Pinninger directed India in Jaipal's absence. Despite these issues, India won the summit meeting clash by a 3-0 margin with Dhyan Chand who did magnificently with another hat- trick. The whole nation celebrated the win. India had won its first ever Olympic Gold medal.
The Cherish and Joy
Dhyan Chand scored a total of 14 goals in the tournament and India did not acknowledge a single goal. The Dutch press appreciated Indian Team, as well as Viceroy Lord Irwin in India also appreciated the Indian Team. When the team came back to the country in Bombay after their victory, it was received by a large number of happy and joyous fans.
Do you know?
The golden period of Indian hockey was from 1928-1956. The Indian men's team remained unbeaten in the Olympics, achieving six gold medals in a row.