The day of 29 August is celebrated as National Sports Day in Indian history. This day is celebrated on the birthday of Major Dhyanchand, called the hockey magician. Today, in 1905, Dhyanchand was born in Allahabad and today is his 113th birth anniversary. Every year, the best performers in the game are also given the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, and Dronacharya Award. Do you know, when great cricketer Don Bradman saw Dhyan Chand’s game, what did he say, let’s know some facts about hockey master…
1. Dhyanchand joined the Indian-British army at the age of 16 as a Lance-Naik. During this time he started playing hockey. Given his excellent play, the British government made him the Major.
2. Dhyanchand represented India in 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics, and three times India won the gold medal in the Olympics. At the age of 43 in 1948, he said goodbye to international hockey.
3. In the Olympics in Amsterdam in 1928, he scored the highest goal (14) from India. At the same time, a local newspaper wrote that ‘ This was not hockey but a magic and Dhyanchand is the hockey magician.’ This was the time when they were given the nickname for the first time.
4. When the world’s great cricketer Sir Donald Bradman and Dhyanchand met in Adelaide in 1935, they said, “It looks as if you are going to score runs in cricket.”
5. Dhyan Chand had described the match between Kolkata Customs and Jhansi Heroes in the Beighton Cup Final in 1933 as their best match.
6. Seeing the incredible game of Dhyan Chand, once breaking his hockey stick in the Netherlands, it was seen that somewhere the magnet did not stick in his stick which kept the ball pasted.
7. Following a spectacular performance at the Berlin Olympics, Hitler invited him to dinner. Hitler asked him to play hockey on behalf of Germany, giving him a loftier position in the German army. But Dhyanchand, rejecting the proposal, said, “Hindustan is my estate.”
8. Dhyan Chand scored 400 goals in his 22 years (1926-48) career.