Violent Kanvalpreet Singh Points Pistol At Lady Doctor


ockey player Kanvalpreet Singh, an inspector with Punjab Police, created panic when he pointed his pistol at Dr. Anju Gupta at the Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigadh, following a delay in the checkup of his 3-year-old daughter.

In a fit of anger, Kanvalpreet aimed his licenced pistol at the doctor, upon which other doctors surrounded him. Kanvalpreet then rushed towards the exit, where guards stopped him. Kanvalpreet then pointed the pistol at them, but was overpowered and his weapon was taken away.

Said a doctor at the Advanced Paediatrics Centre of PGIMER: "Kanvalpreet's pistol was fully loaded; an accident could have easily happened. Such an action should not go unpunished."

Dr. Virendra Singh, Secretary of the PGIMER Faculty Association, said: "It is very unfortunate that despite a faculty member being threatened at gunpoint, no action is being been taken against him."

On the insistence of the Faculty Association, PGIMER Director, Dr. K. K. Talwar assured the faculty that he would take up the matter with DIG, Punjab Police.

Surprisingly, the above act did not result in any action against Kanvalpreet. It's learnt that the matter was hushed following the intervention of Kanvalpreet's father-in-law, Darshanjeet Singh Dhindsa, an SP with Punjab Police. The complaint filed by the doctor was quietly withdrawn after a written apology from the player.

Inspector Kanvalpreet Singh has a prior history of uncontrolled bouts of rage. In a February 2005 tournament in Delhi, Kanvalpreet temporarily went insane on the hockey field, swung at Indian hockey star Deepak Thakur repeatedly on the face with his stick, and broke his nose.

Deepak lay on the turf bleeding profusely, and was rushed to Apollo hospital in Delhi to get treated for multiple injuries on the nose, face, forearm and elbow.

A national team member had commented at that time, "Had this been an international event, the concerned player would have been thrown out for a minimum of 3 years." Instead, Kanvalpreet got just a 4-month ban for a murderous assault on a national team hockey player.

Violent Jugraj Singh Swings Stick At Player's Face


Article courtesy Indian Express and Tribune

iolence and Indian hockey seem to be inseparable these days. If not the umpires, then co-players are the victims of the hot-headed players' wrath.

The BHA Mahindra stadium witnessed an incident just short of trouble in the 45th Bombay Gold Cup, when the hot climate took a toll on Kanvalpreet and Jugraj Singh's composures, and Air India's 20-year-old Javed Ahmed was at the receiving end.

Immediately after the Air India-Punjab Police semi-final league match, which Punjab Police lost, Javed Ahmed of Air India was abused by Kanvalpreet Singh and later pushed and shoved by Jugraj Singh of Punjab Police.

The cause of the frustration was that Javed Ahmed was shadowing Jugraj Singh throughout the match, which frustrated him no end. To make matters worse, Jugraj missed both his penalty corners.

Kanvalpreet told Javed not to come out of the ground, while Jugraj said he would beat Javed and swung his hockey stick at the victim's face.

The issue was not left to the field, but carried on to the dressing room, where Jugraj went on to threaten Ahmed of retaliating in tournaments outside of Mumbai.

The Air-India coach tried to calm things down, and the matter was closed when Jugraj apologised to the airmen.

This incident is not new in the black history of Punjab police who have often found themselves on the wrong foot especially in the matches wherein they have faced humiliating defeats. Such incidents clearly indicate the high level of indiscipline in the police team.

Asian Games Gold Medallist Prabhakaran Dies Of Cardiac Arrest


angkok Asian Games gold medallist, Lakshman Prabhakaran, died on Friday, April 6, following a massive heart attack.

Prabhakaran, 33, is survived by his wife, 3-year-old daughter and parents.

Hailing from Thanjavur where he studied in St. Anthony's School, Prabhakaran graduated from Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai. He then joined Indian Bank, and rose to the position of assistant manager.

Prabhakaran made his international debut in 1995. His career spanned around 70 international matches, with the high points being the 1998 Asian Games gold, and a 4th place in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

The 1998 Asian Games gold medal winning coach, M. K. Kaushik, said: "Prabhakaran was my choice for the centre-forward position in the 1998 Asiad team. He lived upto my expectations, and was instrumental in our Bangkok success."

Kaushik continued: "The great thing about Prabhakaran was that he was a total team man. Prabhakaran was the first among the 1998 Asiad medallists who contributed Rs. 10,000 each for poverty-stricken Gopal Bengra. Prabhakaran was only a clerk in Indian Bank at that time, still he wanted to help a fellow hockey player."

In Kaushik's book 'The Golden Boot', Kaushik vividly recollects the match-winning goal Prabhakaran scored against South Africa at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. "Even as Prabhakaran was lying down, he gently flicked the ball above the goalkeeper's body into the goal. This gave us three full points in an otherwise low scoring match."

In his condolence message, IHF Secretary K. Jyothikumaran said, "It is a great loss for Tamil Nadu hockey. He was one among three Tamil Nadu players in the 1998 Asian Games gold medal squad. He was instrumental in Tamil Nadu reaching two back-to-back National Hockey Championship finals - in 1997 (Bangalore) and 1999 (Hyderabad). Prabhakaran was identified as among the coaching potential for the Tamil Nadu state team, but death has snatched away a fantastic talent."

11th Annual Kodava Hockey Festival Won By Mandepanda Clan


he 11th edition of the Kodava Family Hockey Festival was held from April 16 to May 6 at Kakotuparambu near Virajpet, 22 km from Madikeri. It was the turn of the Mandettira clan to host the festival this time, and a total of 186 Kodava teams participated in this year's edition.

This unique event has figured in the Limca Book of Records for its magnitude. Started by a retired State Bank of India official, the festival attracts nearly 3,000 players in which men and women of all ages can participate.

In the final of the tournament held on May 6, the Mandepanda clan beat the Anjaparavanda clan 7-6 to win the tournament. In the match for the 3rd-4th place, the Machamada family beat the Koothanda family 2-0.

The winning team got Rs. 50,000, and the losing finalist got Rs. 25,000. A sum of Rs. 10,000 each was paid to the two losing semi-finalists.

The honour of hosting the 12th edition of Kodava Hockey Festival next year will go to Alamengada family in Balele.

Indian Airlines Win Beighton Cup After Gap Of 2 Decades


he 112th Indian Oil Beighton Cup, the oldest hockey tournament in the world, was held at the CC & FC and Mohun Bagan grounds in Kolkata from March 27 to April 10. Organised by the Bengal Hockey Association, this year's edition had 8 outstation and 15 local teams.

In a scheduling conflict, the Beighton Cup clashed with the national camp for the 16th Azlan Shah international being held in May. National team members and probables were thus unable to take part in this prestigious tournament.

The Beighton Cup is the only major tournament in India not to be held on artificial turf. This is because Kolkata is the only major metropolis in India not to have an artificial turf stadium.

The talk of installing an artificial turf in Kolkata has been doing the rounds for the last five years, but nothing has come of it till now. As a result, the Beighton Cup has not been able to bring in quality foreign teams, as they do not want to play on grass.

PSB, BSF, Indian Airlines and Indian Oil were seeded directly into the quarter-final league stage, which began on April 4.

Indian Airlines and BSF reached the final of the tournament, with the following match results:

Date Indian Airlines Seema Suraksha Bal (BSF)
Apr 4 beat Punjab Sports Club 9-1  
Apr 5 beat Kolkata Customs 8-1 beat Punjab Sports Club 5-1
Apr 6   beat Kolkata Customs 1-0
Apr 7 lost to BSF 1-3 beat Indian Airlines 3-1
Apr 9 (semis) beat PSB 1 (6) - 1 (5), TB beat Indian Oil 2-1

In the final played at the Mohun Bagan ground on April 10, star-studded Indian Airlines broke a 21-year-old jinx and lifted the 112th Beighton Cup with a 1-0 victory over Seema Suraksha Bal. This was their 3rd Beighton Cup title win overall.

Veteran war horse Dhanraj Pillai scored the all-important goal a minute before half-time to propel Indian Airlines to the title, which they last won way back in 1985. The former India ace latched on to a loose ball just inside the striking circle, dribbled past a couple of sticks and pushed home amidst a host of players, giving no chance to rival goalkeeper K. M. Subbaiah.

Dhanraj was adjudged the Forward of the Tournament, prevailing over a clutch of young hopefuls. BSF goalkeeper K. M. Subbaiah was selected as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament. Vikram Pillai of Indian Airlines was adjudged the Centre-half of the Tournament.

Dhanraj spoke with emotion about the victory: "My dream of winning the Beighton Cup has finally come true. This victory is one of the most cherished achievements of my career."

The winning team got Rs. 1 lakh while runner-up Seema Suraksha Bal settled for Rs. 50,000. Six-time Beighton Cup champion Seema Suraksha Bal finished runner-up for the second year in a row. Urban Development Minister Asok Bhattacharya distributed the prizes.

Bharat Petroleum Win Maiden Bombay Gold Cup


he 45th Bombay Gold Cup was held at the Mahindra Stadium in Mumbai from April 5 to April 25.

As most of the India stars involved in the Azlan Shah Cup coaching camp (April 2 to 30) at the SAI centre in Bangalore, the hockey lovers of Mumbai missed their favourite players in action.

To make matters bad, the Bombay Hockey Association (BHA) did not invite India's two top hockey teams - Indian Airlines and Indian Oil Corporation - presumably because these two teams do not share a good rapport with the present BHA management.

To make matters worse, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) team could not make it to the tournament since the PIA players' visas were not cleared by the concerned Ministry from Delhi in time.

To make matters worst, Punjab & Sindh Bank, Tata Sports Club and Bandra Hockey XI turned down invitations to take part in the tournament.

To make matters a joke, the IHF had the gall to tell BHA to drop this year's tournament altogether. The tournament committee decided to go ahead since they already had the sponsors lined up. BHA secretary Kehar Singh complained about 'the non cooperating attitude of the IHF'.

Coming back to the tournament. A total of 38 teams vied for 4 spots in the semi-final league. The 4 teams that qualified out of the 38 were Punjab Police, ONGC, Air India and Seema Suraksha Bal (BSF).

4 other teams were directly seeded into the semi-final league - defending champion Army XI, IHF Development XI, Namdhari XI and Bharat Petroleum.

Bharat Petroleum and Air India reached the final of the tournament, with the following semi-league results:

Date Bharat Petroleum Air India
Apr 18 lost to BSF 1-4 beat Army XI 3-1
Apr 20   beat IHF Development XI 2-1
Apr 21 beat ONGC 7-0  
Apr 22   drew with Punjab Police 1-1
Apr 23 beat Namdhari XI 2-0  

In the final played on April 25 under floodlights, Bharat Petroleum beat Air India 4-1 to win its first-ever Bombay Gold Cup hockey tournament.

Pundalik Bellari, Amar Aiyamma, Irshad Ali and Ravi Pal Singh scored for the Bangalore outfit, who led 2-0 at half-time. Air India got a consolation goal from Harshpreet Singh.

Bharat Petroleum, coached by Romeo James, took home Rs. 1.25 lakhs, while Air India, coached by K. K. Poonacha, had to settle for Rs. 75,000.

Bharat Petroleum swept 4 of the 5 player awards given in the Bombay Gold Cup:

  • Player of the Final - Sabu Varkey (Bharat Petroleum)
  • Player of the Tournament - Kuttappa (goalkeeper, Bharat Petroleum)
  • Forward of the Tournament - Amar Aiyamma (Bharat Petroleum)
  • Goalkeeper of the Tournament - Gurpreet Singh (Air India)
  • Defender of the Tournament - Irshad Ali (Bharat Petroleum)

Steel Authority Of India Win 3rd Sub-junior (u-18) Nationals


he 3rd sub-junior (u-18) National Hockey Championship was held at Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur from April 14 to April 22.

36 teams took part in the tournament, which was inaugurated by Nagarjuna University Vice-chancellor, Professor Bala Mohandas.

Two institutional teams - Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) reached the final, with the following match results:

Date Steel Authority of India Sports Authority of India
Apr 15 beat Delhi 2-1 drew with Manipur 1-1
Apr 16 beat Bhopal 2-0 beat Himachal Pradesh 5-0
Apr 17 beat Mumbai 5-0  
Apr 18   beat Hyderabad 5-0
Apr 19 (quarters) beat Namdhari 2-0 beat Orissa 1-0
Apr 21 (semis) beat Chattisgadh 3-1 beat Jharkhand 5-1

In the final held on April 22, SAIL beat SAI 4-2 to lift the sub-junior (u-18) National Hockey Championship. At half-time, SAIL was leading 3-1.

Birendra Lakra scored 3 goals for SAIL, while Javed Khan chipped in with 1. For the losing team, Jai Karan and Munish Rana scored a goal apiece.

Earlier, Jharkhand defeated Chhattisgadh 4-1 to take the third place.

The semi-finals and final were watched by 6 Olympians - R. P. Singh, Manohar Topno, Mukesh Kumar, Balvinder Singh Shammi, Michael Kindo and Rajinder Singh.

So far, 3 editions of the u-18 national championships have been held - all in Andhra Pradesh.

The 1st u-18 championship was held in 2001 in Karimnagar, and was won by Punjab & Sindh Bank.

The 2nd u-18 championship was held in 2005 in Visakhapatnam & Bheemavaram, and was won by Karnataka.

And now, the 3rd u-18 championship that was held in Guntur has been won by Steel Authority of India Ltd.

Photograph of the Month


Balbir Singh Sr. scores a goal in the 1948 Olympic hockey final
Photo and Brodie's text courtesy '100 years of Scottish Hockey'

he Photograph of the Month for May 2007 is a rare photograph from the 1948 Olympic hockey final, played on Thursday, August 12, 1948 at Empire Stadium, Wembley.

This was the first ever meeting between India and Great Britain in hockey. The present Queen of England (then Princess Elizabeth) watched the entire match. India went on to win 4-0.

Balbir Singh Sr. scored two first half goals, off passes from K. D. Singh 'Babu' and captain Kishan Lal respectively. India's third and fourth goals were scored by Pat Jansen and Tarlochan Singh Bawa respectively.

The above photograph shows Balbir Singh Sr. scoring India's second goal, past goalkeeper David Brodie. The text below, written by Brodie at the age of 84, has been taken from the book '100 Years of Scottish Hockey', and was provided to BharatiyaHockey.org by Dil Bahra.

At the final played at Wembley, we soon got disillusioned on a home pitch which should have suited us more than India - a beautiful field of lush grass, ideal maybe for football but just too long for hockey.

India started off just as Pakistan had in the semi-final, but alas, the British team just fell apart. Only two British players played to form - Frank Reynolds at centre-half did wonders, and George Sime at right-back played his usual sound game - but they were both over-run, and it was only a question of how many goals we were going to lose by.

We were lucky to only lose by four goals; it could have been two or three times that.

After the tournament, the competitors were invited to a farewell party at the Hurlingham Polo and Croquet Club, besides the Thames. All the strain was off, we could relax - a lovely summer evening.

There we were - black, brown, yellow, white - and all sorts of shades in between, music and dancing, food and drinking; language didn't matter, with a splendid fireworks display to finish off.

It was unforgettable, I felt this was what the Olympic Games was meant to be.

Money Matters


he Indian Hockey Federation has launched a youth development programme under a Rs. 20 crore sponsorship by the financial conglomerate Citigroup.

Under the terms of the agreement, the IHF will select a core group of around 40 players in the 16-18 age group. Besides this, plans are afoot to select an additional base of 80-100 players who will undergo periodic training. All affiliated units of the IHF will participate in identifying the youth.

The players selected for the programme will get a stipend of Rs. 2,500 - Rs. 3,000 for 4 years. Besides the stipend, boarding, lodging, education, medical and kit requirements will be met by the IHF and the sponsor.

The long-term programme was developed to prepare a talent base for the 2009 Junior World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The basics of the deal was worked out at a meeting in Mumbai attended by S. N. Masood of Citigroup, Priya Dutt (MP), IHF president K. P. S. Gill and secretary K. Jyothikumaran.

Jyothikumaran informed that under the youth programme, the players would be given exposure by participating in tournaments not only in the country but also abroad. Selectors would pick up the best available talent to form the required pool of players from six zonal selection centres.

Accordingly, an IHF Development team consisting of 18 players took part in the Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Tournament. Other players for the youth programme would be chosen by four newly appointed junior selectors after watching the Sub-junior (u-18) Nationals in Guntur.

The final group of players would then undergo training at a centralised place, the venue of which has not been decided yet.

Media Matters


Arun Arnaw

new Indian sports website, SportsBharti.com, has been launched. This website displays the achievements of Indian sportsmen in a wide range of sports. Website content is still in a preliminary stage, and uploading of information in the various sections is continuing.

The website was founded by Arun Arnaw, and his children, Nelly Khare and Animesh Khare. Arun Arnaw has been associated with sports writing for the last 30 years, and has contributed articles to leading newspapers, magazines and websites. He has written 6 books on various sports, and is in the panel of Akashvani for special talks on sports.

Visitor of the Month


Avin Uthaiya is this edition's Visitor of the Month. Avin wrote the following to BharatiyaHockey.org:

This is to inform you that India’s largest hockey tournament, with close to 200 teams, will be held in April in Kodagu, Karnataka. I am sure you know that Kodagu (Coorg) is one of India’s hockey bastions. Names like M. P. Ganesh, Sommaiya, Subbaiah and today’s young Len Aiyappa are some of the players that this tiny district has produced.

This unique tournament is played between family clans from different villages, with some of the teams boasting of professional players. You will find all generations and both the sexes wield the stick with equal dexterity in matches that are pumped with adrenaline as the family’s honour is at stake.

Fun With Numbers


Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he 8-nation 16th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament, the only annual international tournament in the entire continent of Asia, was held from May 5 to May 13, 2007 at Ipoh. This month's edition of Fun With Numbers deals with the various countries' medal records in the Azlan Shah Tournament (prior to the 2007 edition).

Malaysia, despite being the host country, has never won the Azlan Shah Tournament. Its best finish was a silver medal, 22 years ago.

There have been only two repeat winners in the Azlan Shah Tournament. Pakistan won successive golds in 1999 and 2000, while Australia repeated as champions in 2004 and 2005.

Canada (3 appearances) and Argentina (1 appearance) are the only two countries which have never won any medal in the Azlan Shah tournament.

Country Appearances Gold Silver Bronze Best Finish
Australia 9 4 2 2 Gold - 1983, 98, 2004, 05
Pakistan 12 3 5 2 Gold - 1999, 2000, 03
India 10 3 0 3 Gold - 1985, 91, 95
Germany 8 2 3 1 Gold - 1987, 2001
South Korea 11 1 4 2 Gold - 1996
England 6 1 0 1 Gold - 1994
Netherlands 2 1 0 0 Gold - 2006
Malaysia 15 0 1 1 Silver - 1985
New Zealand 9 0 0 2 Bronze - 1995, 2003
USSR 1 0 0 1 Bronze - 1991
Canada 3 0 0 0 4th - 1995, 99
Argentina 1 0 0 0 7th - 2006

India has lost more matches that it has won in the Azlan Shah Tournament. India's overall tournament record is:

Played W L D GF GA
58 25 26 7 109 107

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