Knowing our hockey heroes

In a country where hockey history makes a fascinating study, it is sad that literature available on the subject is poor. It is more so in regional languages. However, Iqbal Singh Saroya, a hockey aficionado based in Chandigarh, with a passion for penning portraits of giants of the sport, has sought to fill the gap through assiduous research and interviews.

His book written in Punjabi, Hockey de Sultan, attempts to purvey biographies of stalwarts during the golden age, stretching from 1928 to 1964. The book sheds light on the life and times of stalwarts such as Dhyan Chand, Lal Shah Bhukari, Jaipal Singh, Kishen Lal, K. D.Singh (Babu), Balbir Singh (Sr.). The list also includes R. S. Gentle, Udham Singh, Haripal Kaushik, Hardayal Singh, Laxman and Bal Kishen Singh.

Saroya, who also writes for vernacular dailies, said he had spent a good deal of time on research and toured several parts of the country to meet the players or the members of their families.

“It is a long cherished dream that has come true for me,” observed the former employee of the PEPSU Transport Corporation during a conversation with me in Chandigarh. The book also contains enough statistical information. Published by Unistar Books Limited in Chandigarh, it is priced at Rs. 250.