For a sport synonymous with the Indian identity, hockey’s glory has not been highlighted as much as it should be. An effort to do so is ‘Hockey & India – A Golden Legacy’ by Sportstar. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik released the book at his residence in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Former India captain and president of Hockey India Dilip Tirkey also graced the occasion.
R. Vineel Krishna (Special Secretary to CM and Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services), Ayon Sengupta, Editor of Sportstar, and Sridhar Arnala, Vice President (Sales and Distribution) of Hindu Group of Publications, were also present during the release.
Rourkela and Bhubaneswar in Odisha are hosting the ongoing men’s Hockey World Cup, and the State, in recent years, has been one of the biggest supporters of the sport.
The book traces the roots of the game and its growth in India through the ages. The hardbound book, packed with some of the rarest pictures of people and places associated with Indian hockey, chronicles India’s eight gold medals at the Olympics and the epoch-making triumph in the 1975 World Cup, apart from an overall view of both competitions.
The Legends section has stories of some of the biggest superstars of Indian hockey, including Dhanraj Pillay and Dilip Tirkey, and some deserving but not-so-well-known ones – like Roop Singh, Udham Singh and Surjit Singh. The biggest of them, the superstar of superstars – Dhyan Chand – deservedly sits on top of the Roll of Honour. A highlight of the book is the section on Indian women players over ages – from Elvira Britto and Selma D’Silva to modern queens like Pritam Siwach and Rani Rampal.
With 192 pages of old and new pictures from 1928 to the present, the book is a collector’s edition for everyone in general and aficionados of Indian sports in particular.