1975 hockey world champs rue their feat is forgotten

New Delhi, March 15

Indian hockey wrote a historic chapter exactly 46 years ago on this day in Kuala Lumpur when the national team won its only World Cup title, but the architects of that achievement rue the fact that the country has, over the years, forgotten their feat.

India won their only World Cup crown on March 15, 1975, beating arch-rivals Pakistan 2-1 in a thrilling final.

Ashok Kumar, who had scored the winning goal in the final, has plenty of complaints. “We talk about nationalism and what is biggest example of nationalism than bringing laurels for the country. That win brought smiles on the faces of every citizen of this country across caste, religion, status, gender,” Ashok said. “But who remembers that now? TV channels are busy in celebrating Alia Bhatt’s birthday since morning. Not a single mention of hockey World Cup win anywhere. We do not get any congratulatory calls on this day,” said Ashok, son of hockey legend Dhyan Chand.

Another member of the team, Ashok Diwan, feels the new generation needs to take a note of that glorious win.

“Naturally we feel bad that only we team members and hockey fraternity remembers this historic day. The new generation must be told about that win and feel proud of it,” he said. “That was our first World Cup win. It has been 46 years now. We hope that India wins the hockey World Cup in 2023 and we get a chance to relive those moments,” he added.

Another team member, Varinder Singh, winner of a bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics, said: “Last time we all met in Bhubaneswar during 2018 World Cup. We spent a week together refreshing old memories.” — PTI

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