Ashok Kumar (field hockey)
1 June 1950 |
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
Ashok Kumar (born 1 June 1950 in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh), is a former Indian professional field hockey player. He is the son of the Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand. Ashok Kumar is one of the legends in Indian hockey was known for his exceptional skills and ball control. He was a member of the Indian team that won the 1975 World Cup.
Ashok Kumar was born on 1 June 1950 in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh to Dhyan Chand, widely considered as the greatest field hockey player ever. Ashok started playing hockey when he was just six years old. He played for junior school team and graduated to club level hockey, representing his home state, Uttar Pradesh continuously for four years. Even at the young age, his extraordinary ball control and flair for the game drew hasty comparisons.
Ashok Kumar played for Rajasthan University in 1966-67 and All India Universities 1968-69. Thereafter, he moved to Calcutta to play for Mohun Bagan Club and represented Bengal in the National Championships in Bangalore in 1971. He later joined Indian Airlines and represented it in national tournaments. He made his international debut in 1970 when he was included in the teams Asian Games in Bangkok, losing the title to Pakistan. He also took part in the 1974 and 1978 Asian Games held at Tehran and Bangkok respectively winning Silver Medals in those two games.
Ashok represented India in the Olympic Games twice; first in 1972 at Munich and then in 1976 at Montreal. In 1972, India finished third settling for a Bronze and in 1976, India finished seventh, not finishing in top three for the first time since 1928. He played at the Pesta Sukha International Tournament in Singapore in 1971 and captained the team to the 1979 Esanda Hockey Tournament at Perth. He played for the All-Asian star team, where his father Dhyan Chand watched him play for the first time in 1974 and was selected twice for the World XI team.
At the World Cup
He was a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the first World Cup in Barcelona in 1971 and silver at the second World Cup in Amsterdam in 1973. The highlight of his career was the 1975 Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur where he scored the important goal in the gold medal match for India against Pakistan. On a pass from Surjit Singh, Ashok cracked the ball goalwards. The ball hit the corner of the post and bounced out. But for a fraction of a second the ball was in the goal and despite protests by Pakistan, the Malaysian umpire confirmed the goal. His fourth and last appearance in the World Cup was in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina which saw India being relegated to sixth position.