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News for 20 November 2020

All the news for Friday 20 November 2020

NBP face Wapda in Senior Hockey Champianship final

LAHORE  -   National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will take on Pakistan Wapda in the Senior Hockey Championship 2020 final to be played today (Friday) at 2:30 pm at Mari Petroleum Hockey Stadium, Rawalpindi.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry will grace the occasion as chief guest.

PHF President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said that the winning team will earn Rs 300,000 while the runners-up will receive Rs 200,000 and the third position holders will get Rs 100,000 while the best player of the event will be handed Rs 50,000.

Earlier in the first semifinal, both NBP and Sui Southern teams played well against each other and when the final whistle was blown, the score was tied at 5-all. The crucial match was then decided on sudden death stroke, where NBP won it 6-5.

Wapda won the second semifinal by beating Pakistan Navy 1-0.

The Nation

It's work as usual for Mirnawan's men

By Jugjet Singh

Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi.

THE national men's hockey team have nothing to look forward to this year, and the future of international tournaments also looks bleak.

But still, they keep on clocking in for training sessions and "work" like normal even though the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) is quite far-off, on March 11-19 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

"It's training as usual after the team checked into the Bukit Jalil hostel on Sunday (Nov 15). Even though our first tournament is in March, we need to keep the players on their toes," said team manager Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi.

"We are not sure whether the ACT will be held as scheduled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we train and treat it as the date to play our first international tournament next year."

Training as usual means under strict SOP required by the relevant government agencies.

"SOP is followed to the dot and we are only allowed to have 10 players at one half of the field, so 20 train at one time while the second batch move in after the other make their exit.

"It's challenging for the coaches and players but that's how it is nowadays," said Mirnawan.

Malaysia will face India, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the ACT.

New Straits Times

Megat files appeal against suspension

By Jugjet Singh

Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman

Kuala Lumpur HA president Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman has appealed against his 18-month suspension by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation.

In a statement yesterday, the HockAdemy team owner said: "An appeal letter has been sent to the MHC on Nov 17 on the issue of my 18-month suspension from all hockey-related activities.

"In the 10-page appeal letter, we have set forward our arguments and hope it will be considered in line with international sports standards."

After MHC suspended Megat, he had said he would use the proper channels and is willing to go all the way to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Judical Commission and Sports Arbitration Court if necessary.

The MHC discipline committee found Megat guilty of breaking Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) code of conduct and their recommendation to ban him was endorsed by the MHC executive board.

Megat had said there were many flaws in the discipline committee's decision.

"I was banned for 18 months by the MHC on Nov 4 because I questioned the prize money payout for the MHL and supposedly went against the tournament code of conduct," he said.

According to Megat, the MHL tournament code of conduct states that any disciplinary action taken after the tournament must be initiated by the secretary general while MHC's constitution does not have a provision of a secretary general by clear definitions.

Megat was hauled up by the DB because he wrote to MHL sponsors, TNB, QNet and Bank Islam, asking about the status of sponsorship money and he also went to the press prior to writing to MHC for clarification.

New Straits Times

University Of Exeter Adapting From Covid Challenges

To say that the past few months have been fraught for university hockey sides is an understatement. This is particularly true of those teams that compete at elite level. Continuing to train to a high standard and with regularity; travelling long distances to matches; and all while attempting to live something resembling a normal student life has been made difficult, if not impossible, by the impact of Covid-19.

As Head of Hockey at Exeter University and Head Coach to the men’s first team, Harry Jones has been at the forefront of the battle to keep hockey at the University operating at the highest level possible under current restrictions.

“It has been an extremely tough start to the season what with Covid-19 causing all sorts of logistical nightmares,” says Jones, who has been coaching at Exeter since 2014.

“We weren’t able to have our usual pre-season start date as this had to be delayed due to a gradual opening of our sports facilities and grounds. Exeter’s geographical location continues to be problematic but even more so now. When it comes to long away journeys, University protocols stipulate we have to travel with reduced numbers in cars, temperature checks, face masks and windows open. All things which must be done but now are adding to the uphill struggle we face for away matches.”

For Jones and his team of coaches and players the biggest challenge, both in terms of physical preparation and mental readiness, is the uncertainty and the lack of control over the situation.

He says: “As an example, it was out of our control not being able to play some of our league games thus far but you learn to overcome and deal with whatever you’re faced with.”

Covid aside, the University of Exeter has not started the season as the coaching team of Jones and Simon Tyson would like. Four matches have resulted in four losses and the team currently sits second from bottom in the England Hockey League Men’s Premier Division, with only fellow university team Durham below them.

However, despite the lack of points on the board, Jones remains upbeat.

“The games themselves have been largely positive. While we haven’t had the results that some may have wanted, we are a process driven side who are focusing on small wins at the moment.”

Like any university side, Exeter faces the annual problem of a mass exodus as students graduate and an influx of new players arrive. This lack of continuity or established players in the team brings its own challenges. Jones and Tyson have to ensure that the team clicks and gels as quickly as possible, and that makes for a challenging start to any season, even in non-Covid times.

For Jones, however, it is not all about results. Seeing players develop and learn is something that delights his coaching mind-set.

“The most pleasing moments have been when the players have put in well-rounded performances against well-established premier division teams who have a host of senior internationals in their side. The highlight for me is seeing our players develop from game to game and from season to season. This is a real joy and privilege to be a part of.”

While the challenge of integrating a lot of new players is felt particularly keenly by university sides, Jones says that one big advantage over some of the other teams in the league is the fact that the students are able to commit more time to preparation than many of their counterparts. Where most players juggle full-time jobs and family commitments, the students can spend more time either training or doing online preparations.

As Jones points out however, there is only so much work that can be done remotely: “Online video analysis sessions sat on your sofa are great but we miss the personal interactions that you get from standing in front of someone. Personally I have been blown away by how conscientious and diligent our players have been to not let all these ‘speed bumps’ and disruptions get in the way of our progression this year.”

Jones and Tyson have been supported in their battle to mitigate the impact of the pandemic by both the wider Exeter University Hockey Club and the University.

“We are very fortunate to have great strength and depth within our club and throughout our squads which allows us to play competitive internal games,” says Jones. “This has been important, especially when we haven’t been able to play matches due to public health restrictions.

“We are also extremely fortunate that the University of Exeter has supported us to get back on the pitch and allowed us to train with all the necessary signage, sanitising stations and one-way systems. The university has enabled all high-performance athletes to receive asymptomatic tests on a regular basis and we also have a fantastic Rapid Response Team who work around the clock advising any incoming students who are symptomatic or needing a test.”

“The players and the committee have been fantastic,” he adds. “Everyone has jumped on board to help with the daily logistics of running a club under these new conditions and everyone has ensured we are adhering to the safety procedures put in place at all times.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey Australia announces seven Hall of Fame inductees for 2020

Seven individuals who have had a profound impact on Australian hockey have become the latest inductees into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.

The Hockey Australia (HA) Board ratified the nominations of Craig Davies, Elspeth Denning OAM, Jim Irvine, Treva King and Annette West-Bail into the Athlete Category, while Richard Aggiss AM and Julie Ashton-Lucy will have their names etched into the General Category of the distinguished Hall of Fame list.

These additions take the total number of Hall of Fame inductees to 71, seven of whom are in the General Category as a coach or official.

Induction into the HA Hall of Fame is awarded to Australian players or officials who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in hockey at the highest level.

“On behalf of the Hockey Australia Board and the Australian hockey fraternity, I congratulate these latest inductees into the Hall of Fame. All of them are richly deserving of this honour,” said Hockey Australia President Melanie Woosnam.

“For the five inducted into the Athlete Category, during their time in the national setup they each represented Australia with distinction and left a lasting mark on the history of hockey in this country and the respect we have on the world hockey stage.”

“Richard Aggiss is one of Australian hockey’s most successful coaches and his contribution to the sport continues to this day, while Julie Ashton-Lucy reached the pinnacle as an umpire.”

Presentations to officially induct the seven individuals are scheduled to take place at events to be determined in 2021.


Athlete Category

Craig Davies (WA)
An automatic selection in Australian teams from 1978-1991, Craig also had the distinction of captaining the Kookaburras. He was selected for three Olympic Games, was part of the successful World Cup winning team in 1986 and competed at a remarkable 13 Champions Trophies. Craig is arguably one of the finest defensive players produced in Western Australia, his international career seeing him finish with 193 appearances and 63 goals.

Elspeth Denning OAM (WA)
Born in Kenya, Elspeth enjoyed a spectacular national and international career and made her mark as a full-back of the highest quality. Selected for three Olympics, she was an inspirational vice-captain in Australia's Olympic gold medal win in Seoul in 1988 and was awarded an Order of Australia in 1989.

Jim Irvine (VIC)
An Olympic silver medallist at the 1976 Games, Jim scored 69 goals in 168 internationals, more than 100 of them as vice-captain. He was also part of dual bronze medal World Cup teams and received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

Treva King (QLD)
A talented half back, Treva competed at the 1984 Olympics and was part of the Kookaburras’ World Cup winning team in 1986. He was Australian vice-captain from 1984-1986 and represented his country at five Champions Trophies and two World Cups.

Annette West-Bail (QLD)
With 24 goals in 26 internationals, Annette’s scoring prowess was second to none. She was named in the World Eleven following the 1971 International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations in New Zealand. A ‘goal scoring machine’, Annette scored half of the Hockeyroos’ goals in tests against South Africa, 10 of 13 in the 1971 IFWHA and 7 of 16 in the 1973 edition in Amsterdam.

General Category

Richard Aggiss AM (WA)
Much of the strength of Australian men’s hockey since the 1980’s can be attributed to the contribution and influence of Richard. A superb player in his own right, Richard’s greatest feats came while coaching the Kookaburras from 1981-1988 where he achieved a winning record of over 80 per cent from 151 internationals.

Richard was the inaugural men’s coach of the Australian Institute of Sport’s hockey program that was widely recognised globally as the benchmark in the development of hockey at the elite level. He has also been heavily involved in the development of current hockey coaches, having assisted in writing and conducting Australia’s various official coaching courses.

Julie Ashton-Lucy (QLD)
Named the world’s best umpire in 2013, Julie umpired over 100 senior internationals including multiple Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Cups and Champions Trophies.

She received her Golden Whistle (award presented to umpires who have completed their 100th official Senior International Match) at the Beijing Olympics and has been part of the FIH World Umpires Panel since 2003.

Hockey Australia media release

Hockey Australia 2021 Women's National Junior Coach

Hockey Australia recently revised its National Athlete Pathways Program (NAPP) with the appointment of a NAPP Technical Lead and a revision of the coaching structure within its National Institute Network (NIN) partners.

As a result, the position of National Women’s Junior (U21) Coach has become available for 2021.

Hockey Australia is calling for Expressions of Interest for the position of National Women’s Junior (U21) Coach for 2021.

This will be a one-year Part Time role which will culminate in the 2021 FIH Junior World Cup in South Africa.

The National Junior Women’s Coach will work in partnership with the newly appointed NAPP Technical Lead and Hockey Australia’s Performance Pathways Manager and be responsible for leading and implementing programs focusing directly on the development of an ongoing National Junior Program and international tour campaigns.

In addition to both the NAPP Technical Lead and Performance Pathways Manager, the Coach is required to work collaboratively with National Senior and NAPP coaches as well as Performance Services staff within the HP Network, ensuring that the input of all stakeholders is maximised and aligned to the agreed national direction.

Further information and how to apply. Closing date 27 November 2020

Hockey Australia media release

NSW Pride Announce New Partnership With Kennards Self Storage

The NSW Pride are pleased to announce Kennards Self Storage as our new Gold Tier Major Partner. The pioneers of the self-storage industry have committed to the Pride for the next three years, until at least the end of the 2023 season.

The partnership, announced at Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre today, marks the company’s first foray into sport. The agreement will see the Kennards Self Storage logo feature proudly on the back of all NSW Pride uniforms and support staff gear during the 2021 Hockey One season.

They will also receive prominent branding at NSW Pride home games and training, while supporters can look forward to an enhanced match-day experience with special offers and giveaways throughout the season.

Through the partnership, Hockey NSW has also been able to secure a number of storage spaces across NSW, which provides greater accessibility for our regional staff and has also significantly reduced rental costs at our head office. This is a major cost saving we can pass on to our members and which will help to improve our programs and offerings across the State.

Hockey NSW CEO David Thompson said: “Kennards Self Storage is a well-recognised and proud family-owned Australian business, so we’re delighted to have them join the NSW Pride as our Gold Tier Major Partner.”

“This is a significant partnership for both the NSW Pride and Hockey NSW that will benefit not only our athletes and support staff, but our wider hockey membership base as well.

“We look forward to welcoming Kennards Self Storage to our NSW Pride family and working with them in the years to come.”

Announcing the deal, Kennards Self Storage CEO, Sam Kennard said: “When I was approached by David to consider sponsoring the NSW Pride, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with team and join forces with our buisness.”

“I have a strong, personal connection with hockey. All three of my daughters play the sport in Sydney and I thoroughly enjoy watching their games. Although I have never played personally, I admire the sport of hockey greatly and enjoy supporting our fantastic National teams.”

“The NSW Pride are one of the top teams in Hockey One and I’m looking forward to supporting the athletes and attending many games over the next three seasons.”

About Kennards Self Storage:

The Kennards family has a strong reputation for business innovation and originality. With foundations with Walter Kennard and his establishment of the highly regarded Kennards Hire in 1947, the family has since succeeded his enterprise to expand in many ways. Walter’s two sons, Neville and Andrew took Kennards to a level he would not imagine.

In 1973, this included establishing Australia’s first Self Storage Centre in the Kennards Hire branch at Moorebank. Neville and his son Sam, now independently own the Kennards Self Storage Company. Kennards Hire now has no commercial relationship to Kennards Self Storage.

Kennards Self Storage now proudly boasts being the largest Self Storage Operator in Australia. The company has pioneered the industry in many ways. It is founded on values of quality, value, convenience and innovation. The entire KSS team strives to provide customers an exceptional storage experience.

Today Kennards Self Storage has 81 locations in Australia and New Zealand.

Kennards Self Storage proudly remains a privately-owned family operated business. We are not the typical faceless and detached corporation. Our customers storage experience is a direct reflection of the Kennards family. We aim to be proud of the reputation of our business with our name on the door.

We are tirelessly improving our business to lift standards and surprise and delight our customers.

The KSS culture and values also reflect that of the Kennards Family. This means you can depend on and trust us.

The Company has been lead by Sam Kennard (son of Neville) since 1995.

Sultana Bran Hockey One League Media release

Gavaskar’s ‘The Champs Foundation’ comes to aid of ailing hockey Olympian MP Singh

Singh has been suffering from a kidney ailment and the 58-year-old is on dialysis waiting for a donor for transplant

Sunil Gavaskar. PTI file

Former India Cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar’s ‘The CHAMPS Foundation’, a more than a two-decade-old organisation which helps sports personalities in financial distress, has come to the aid of ailing hockey Olympian Mohinder Pal Singh.

Singh has been suffering from a kidney ailment and the 58-year-old is on dialysis waiting for a donor for a transplant. He was recently also provided financial assistance from the Sports Ministry.

“I had been reading in the media about the hard times that our earlier Olympians and (international) medallists were facing in their later years,” Gavaskar told PTI.

“The information about Shri MP Singh’s health also came about thanks to the print media,” Gavaskar said.

MP Singh was an integral part of the Indian hockey team that took part in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and played alongside the likes of Mohammed Shahid, MM Somaya, Jude Felix, Pargat Singh to name a few.

Gavaskar spoke about how the idea of The CHAMPS Foundation (Caring, Helping, Assisting, Motivating, Promoting Sportspersons) came up. It was set up in 1999 and has Gundappa Vishwanath among its trustees.

For the iconic former India captain, the primary reason behind setting up the foundation was that there wasn’t any specific organisation that helped former athletes who gave their all for the nation and subsequently fell on hard times.

“Since there are many Foundations for Education, Health, Child and Senior citizens and such but none for former international sportspersons, I thought of setting up a Foundation with a personal contribution,” Gavaskar said.

“We then organised a double-wicket tournament with the members of the 1983 World Cup team and it was being partnered by an industrialist or a corporate head with their companies making a donation to the corpus of the fund,” he said.

To date, ‘The CHAMPS Foundation’ claims to have helped 21 former players with monthly assistance besides taking care of their medical expenses.

“We would like to help more but we get to know about an international who is struggling to make ends meet only when the media does a story. We can be contacted via email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +919967085558 or https://champsindia.org,” the ‘Little Master’ said.

Asked about how the foundation checks the credibility of people seeking financial assistance, Gavaskar said that there are systems in place.

“The Foundation has friends who do the background check after which the decision to assist or not is taken,” he said. PTI

The Tribune

The Indian Army hockey tour of New Zealand 1926


Field Marshall William Riddell Birdwood, Commander in Chief in India (1925–1930), who had commanded the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) for much of the First World War, facilitated the Indian Army Hockey Team tour of New Zealand in 1926. Birdwood had toured Australia and New Zealand in 1920 to wide public acclaim.

The New Zealand Hockey Association (NZHA) and the Army Sports Control Board started the process of arranging a tour in late 1924. Newspapers in New Zealand reported in December 1924 that “An Indian hockey team (of Englishmen and Sikhs) will probably visit New Zealand next season”.

Indian Army Hockey Team in New Zealand 1926.  Photo; Photo: Thakar Singh family collection

In early 1925, the team was officially invited by NZHA to tour New Zealand. This tour was planned well before the Indian Hockey Federation was formed.

Once the invitation to tour was accepted preliminary trials were held at Rawalpindi during the Army Hockey Championship and at Jhelum during the Punjab Native Army Hockey Tournament. The selected players were sent down to Lahore, where the final choices were made by Colonel Bruce Turnbull, Captain Cowan and Mr Ritchie (who was the coach of the Punjab team).

The Punjab Provincial team beat the India Army team 5-2 just prior to its departure for New Zealand.

Indian Army Hockey Team in New Zealand 1926. Photo: Thakar Singh family collection

The selected touring team announced on 4 March 1926 was:

1. Captain D. T. Cowan MC (captain) (1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles)
2. Captain H. V. Cox (2nd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment)
3. Captain E. A. Belchamber (1st Battalion, 11 Sikh Regiment)
4. Captain L A Alexander (1st Battalion, 5th  Royal Gurkha Rifles)
5. Jemadar Lal Singh 92nd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment)
6. Naik Ghulan Ali  (1st Battalion, 4th Hazara Pioneers)
7. Naik Thakar Singh (1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles)
8. Naik Lal Shah (1st Battalion, 4th Hazara Pioneers)
9. L/Naik Dhian Singh (2nd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment)
10. L/Naik Susai Nathan (Queen Victoria’s own Madras Sappers and Miners)
11. L/Naik Kishana Singh (2nd Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment)
12. Sepoy Manu Swami (Queen Victoria’s own Madras Sappers and Miners)
13. Sepoy Dhyan Chand (4th Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment)
14. Sepoy Sangara Singh (2nd Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles)
15. Sepoy Jaginder Singh (2nd Battalion, 8th Punjab Regiment)
16. Fitter Fakir Chand (Royal Army Service Corps (MT)
17. Fitter H. Francis (Royal Army Service Corps (MT)

The team of 17, led by captain David Tenant Cowan MC, widely known as “Punch” Cowan, included four English officers, one Sikh officer and 12 Indian soldiers. The team assembled in Calcutta and sailed from there on Sunday, 11 April 1926, to Colombo. In Colombo, they beat a Ceylon Light Infantry team 14–1 and the Colombo Gymkhana Club 11-1.

The Indian Army Hockey team left Colombo on April 18 1926 and arrived in Melbourne, Australia, on the morning of 3 May, 1926, where they played a friendly match against Melbourne University at the University Oval ground in the afternoon. The University team was overwhelmed before the game had gone very far and the match finished with the Indian Army team lending the University team some of their men. The score was 8 – 2.

On 6 May, 1926, they beat an Australian Army team 23–1 at the Royal Military College, Duntroon before, departing for Auckland, New Zealand.

The visiting team on Chitral in Melbourne, 3 May 1926. Photo: Australian Indian Historical Society

The team arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, from Sydney on 11 May 1926.

The Indian Army team opened its New Zealand tour with an unofficial match against a Navy team in Remuera on 12 May. Expectedly, the Indian team ran out 11-1 winners.

The visitors in Geraldine (NZ), 17 June 1926. Photo: Courtesy: South Canterbury Museum.

New Zealand Herald, dated 13 May, 1926, reported ‘The game can scarcely be taken as an accurate indication of the standards of hockey in India and New Zealand. Although the visitors gave a very fine exhibition they could not be expected to show their best form as they have not had time to recover from the long steamer voyage, or even to accustom themselves to New Zealand playing surfaces. The opposition, moreover, was not of the kind to produce play of a very high order. The Navy team did not reach Auckland senior club standard’.

“The opening stages of the match were quiet and the Indians took some time to settle down. After a couple of unsuccessful forward movements Dhyan Chand netted the first goal. The Navy came back a shot by Marshall bounced and beat the goalie. Expectations that the game would remain even were dispelled quickly, for the Army team added six more goals in the first spell’ The second came from a corner, Captain Cox scoring with a perfect shot after Dhyan Chand had stopped the ball for him. The visitors kept play in the Navy twenty-five and were generally dominant’.

‘Four of the goals came from the stick of Dhyan Chand, a slightly-built youth, who played a remarkable game at centre-forward. His stick work and control of the ball were well-nigh perfect, and although he was a great individualist he always knew when to pass the ball. Most of his short passes were to his inside-left, Captain Y. M. H. Cox, who, with Dhyan Chand, shared the honours in the forward line. He played correct hockey throughout and varied his play in the circle with discrimination. He will do well on the New Zealand tour. Captain Cox also scored four goals and Singara Singh the other three. The whole side played with perfect understanding’.

Official Souvenir Guide Lancaster Park 12.06.1926. Photo; Takhar Singh Family

The Army team played their first scheduled match of the tour on Thursday, 13 May when they met Waipa at TeAwumutu. There was a large attendance.

The Indian Army won the match comfortably with Cox scoring four goals, Chand three, Belchamber and Susai Nathan two goals apiece.

The team enjoyed similar successes in their next 13 matches, six of which were won with margins of double figures.

The much awaited test matches against New Zealand created a lot of interest and received a big coverage in the national and local newspapers all over New Zealand.

The match was played at Lancaster Park on a Saturday, before a crowd estimated to be over 14,000. The weather was mild, and there was no wind. The ground had been specially prepared and was in good order for a clever exhibition of stick work.

In a lively encounter, India showed the better combination and science generally while winning 5-2. The Indian Army team, playing in red shirts, white shorts and red socks, in their first international match was:

Another day, another setting. Photo: Thakar Singh Family Collection

GK: Ghulan Ali
RB: Kishana Singh
LB: Dhian Singh
RH: Capt. D. T. Cowan (captain)

CH: Fitter Francis
LH: Capt. L. A. Alexander
RW: Sangara Singh
RI:  Capt. E.A. Belchamber
CF: Dhyan Chand
LI:   Capt. H. V. M. Cox
LW: Susai Nathan.

Dhyan Chand scored three goals with Captain Belchamber and Susai Nathan scoring one each. According to Indian hockey historian K. Arumugam and statistician B.G. Joshi, the test match is classified as full international match. The first test match played on 26 June, 1926, in Christchurch, New Zealand is, therefore, recorded as India’s first international match.

Dhyan Chand scored the first goal, thus becoming the first player to score a goal for India in an international match. Captain David Cowan became India’s first captain at an international match.

The second test match was played on 10 July, 1926, in Auckland with an attendance of over 18,000 spectators. New Zealand won 4–3, after leading 4–1 at half time. Captain Belchamber scoring a hat trick for India.

The third and deciding test match was played on Saturday, 17 July, 1926, in Eden Park, Auckland with an attendance of over 25,000. The match ended in a 1–1 draw. Dhyan Chand scored India’s goal.

Mr. H.S.J. Goodman, president of the New NZHA presented the Indian Army team a handsome silver cup, which was donated by Mr. and Mrs. V.O. Wall through the Hawke’s Bay Hockey Association. The cup is for annual competition between the regiments in India. Dhyan Chand received the cup on behalf of the Indian Army team.

The Indian Army team attracted unprecedented numbers of spectators at hockey matches they played during the tour. The team played 21 matches in New Zealand, won 18, lost 1 and drew 2. They scored 192 goals and conceded only 24. Centre forward Dhyan Chand scored 80 goals. The record of the matches played in New Zealand is as follows: —

1. 13.05.1926: Beat Waipa 11—0.
2. 15.05.1926: Beat Waikato 7—0.
3. 18.05.1926: Beat Auckland Sub-Assn 8–0
4. 20.05.1926: Beat Taranaki 7—2
5. 22.05.1926: Beat Hawke’s Bay 13—2
6. 26.05.1926: Beat Dannevirke 20—0*
7. 29.05.1926: Beat Wanganui 12—1
8. 03.06.1926: Beat Wellington 13—3
9. 05.06.1926: Beat Nelson 9—0
10. 08.06.1926: Beat Buller 9—0
11. 12.06.1926: Beat Canterbury 2—l
12. 17.06.1926: Beat Geraldine 15—0
13. 19.06.1926: Beat Otago 11—0
14. 22.06.1926: Beat South Canterbury 14—2
15. 26.06.1926: Beat New Zealand 5—2
16. 30.06.1926: Drew Manawatu 4-4
17. 03.07.1926: Beat Auckland 11—1
18. 08.07.1926: Beat North Auckland 9—l
19. 10.07.1926: Lost to New Zealand 3—4
20. 14.07.1926: Beat Franklin 13—0
21. 17.07.1926: Drew New Zealand 1-1

* On May 26, the team defeated Dannevirke 20-0. It later transpired “that owing to a mistake of the timekeeper, two spells of 45 minutes each were played, instead of 35 minutes. This gave the visitors an additional 20 minutes in which to show their prowess, and several goals, in both spells, were scored in the extra time”.

A correspondent writing for a Wellington newspaper wrote under the heading “India teaches us Hockey”  “From a land of spice and curry it was expected that the Indian Army Hockey team would prove pretty hot. On the contrary they are the coolest customers from a tint country who ever handled hockey sticks. To see them play is to see a fast, concerted, military movement, with kaleidoscopic and scintillating effect. Coloured men, in red, with an occasional top piece of the same colour, they flash about the field with an understanding that beggars description. Two referees cannot keep up with the lightning changes of direction when one of the Indians has hit lustily, full of the knowledge that his team mate is just where he should be. There is no guess work about the Indian players”.

The team left Auckland, New Zealand for Sydney, Australia on 19 July on their return journey and played five friendly matches in Australia before returning home.

The Governor of Australia, Sir Tom Bridges meeting the team before South Australia match at Adelaide Ova, 5 August 1926. Photo: Australian Indian Historical Society

On Saturday, 24 July, the Indian Army team defeated New South Wales 13-2 in Sydney at the No 2 Ground at Sydney Cricket Ground. Dhyan Chand scored seven goals in this match. On Monday, 26 July, the Indian Army team defeated Royal Military College at Duntroon 14-0. On Tuesday, 27 July, the Indian Army team defeated the Australian Army at Duntroon 14-0. Dhyan Chand scored eight goals in this match. On Saturday, 31 July, they defeated Victoria 7-4 in Melbourne.

In the very last match of the tour, on Thursday, 5 August 1926, the Indian Army team defeated South Australia 14-0 at Adelaide Oval. Dhyan Chand, was given the rare honour of captaining the Army team, which included three officers (unprecedented in those days for a private to captain a team which included officers). Dhyan Chand scored nine goals in this match. The man of the match was left winger Susai Nathan.

Crystal Jordan of the Australian Indian Historical Society, who helped me in my research, gives perspective to the tour as under:

“Despite the White Australia Policy, which was introduced in 1901, Australians in the main have been interested in India and things Indian. This is because of our shared history and both being Colonies of Great Britain. This interest was enhanced by our shared experiences in World War One and was highlighted with the Australian response to the Hon. V. S. Srinivasa Sastri’s tour of Australia in 1922.  This tour, which was supported by most Australians, gained equal rights for all Indians living in Australia including the right to vote.

Historian and Author Dil Bahra

The colour and flamboyance of the Indians clad in their scarlet turbans, navy blue blazers with the star of India emblazoned on the pockets, white trousers, and scarlet stockings excited the public imagination, as it did in 1901, when the 100 soldiers of the Indian Contingent arrived in Australia wearing their colourful turbans and army uniforms, to celebrate the Federation of Australia.

The Indian Army Hockey Team was welcomed in Australia because Australia is a sporting country, and any team that visited or visits our shore is welcomed. By competing with the 1926 Indian Army team and subsequent Indian Hockey Teams, Hockey in Australia developed, and this tour laid the foundation for Australia becoming an internationally competitive Hockey playing country”.

At the end of the New Zealand tour, an interesting ceremony was held on July 18 at the Evelyn Firth Home, Parnell. The details of which are given in the link: LINK

Naik Thakhur Singh Silver Medallion, 1926. Photo: Thakar Singh Family Collection

On their way home to Calcutta, the team played one match in Colombo on 27 August when they beat Ceylon XI 7–2.

The NZHA made a net profit of £1,525 on the tour of the Indian Army Hockey team. Ten percent of this amount went to the New Zealand Association, and the balance was divided among the provincial associations in proportion to the takings at the several centres.

General Cowan, 1945. Photo: Australian War Museum

India’s first hockey captain, David Tennant Cowan MC, who was also the Team Manager on this tour served in the British Indian Army from 1915 – 1947. He rose to the rank of Major General and commanded the Indian 17th Infantry Division in the Burma Campaign during World War 11. Early in 1945, his son, Major Michael Cowan, was killed whilst serving in his old regiment, 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles.

He had played hockey to a high standard in England and Scotland, where he was tried for the Scottish team. During the tour, he described Dhyan Chand as “the finest hockey player in the world”. He said that Dhyan Chand was, in his opinion, the only player from this team who was good enough for an All India team.

LEGACY: Sepoy Dhyan Chand of 4/1 Punjab (Jhansi) from this tour was the only player who was selected to represent India at the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games. His son, Ashok Kumar, played for India at the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. He also represented India at Barcelona 1971; Amsterdam 1973; Kuala Lumpur 1975 and Buenos Aires 1978 World Cups. Ashok Kumar visited New Zealand with the Indian team in 1975. Naik Thakar Singh’s son, Gurdev Singh, played for India at Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games and captained India at the Jakarta 1962 Asian Games. He visited New Zealand with The Indian Wanderers Team in 1961.


Ernest Wall OBE (1924 – 2020)

by Dil Bahra

Ernest Wall OBE
It is with sadness that we learn of the passing of Ernest ‘Ernie’ Wall on Sunday November 15, 2020 at Windyhall Care Home, Ayr in Scotland. He was aged 95.
Ernie’s career in hockey spans more than 70 years, starting during his war service in India in the 1940s. When he was demobbed in 1947, he joined Inverleith Hockey Club, and was still a non-playing member until very recently.

He then became international match secretary of the Scottish Men’s Hockey Association, and team manager between 1959 and 1965, as well as being Scottish representative on the British Olympic Hockey Board between 1959 and 1966 and 1979 to 1984.

Ernie was also involved with the International Hockey Federation, with Scotland joining the FIH in 1970, and was Indoor Hockey Committee secretary between 1970 and 1988, as well as an elected member of the FIH Executive Council in 1980. He was also a member of the Technical/Equipment committees. He was awarded with the F.I.H. Order of Merit in 1988.

International Hockey Rules Board Members 1978
Ernie also has a long involvement with the Hockey Rules Board, which celebrated its centenary in year 2000. He was the longest serving member of the board, having joined in 1969 and retired in 2002.. He specialized in indoor hockey rules.

Ernie’s involvement with hockey also stretches to international umpiring, both outdoor and indoor,  which he undertook between 1968 and 1976. He was also involved with the European Hockey Federation. He was honored as a member of Honour of European Hockey Federation in 1991..

His long service to the sport was also recognised in 1982 when he was awarded the OBE for services to hockey.

He had also been involved in a number of Olympic Games as an official and had a keen interest in the history of hockey. And he was a passionate collector of hockey stamps. This is where our friendship grew from 2000 when I became the secretary of Hockey Writers’ Club.

Ernie was the first winner of the Friskin award in 2000. The award was made annually to a UK individual for Outstanding Services to the Sport of Hockey by The Hockey Writers’ Club in memory of Sydney Friskin, the respected correspondent of The Times.
I had the pleasure of meeting him and presenting the award during the Olympic Qualifier in Edinburgh in 2001. In 2006 I visited him at his home in Peebles to see his hockey stamp collection. We exchanged news on stamps regularly.

Scottish ten pounds note with hockey image
In 2006 when an image of a hockey was printed on a Scottish ten pounds note (Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006), he wasted no time in ensuring that he sent this note as a gift to be included in Hockey on Stamps website.

Ernie with his hockey stamp collection in 2006
Ernie was the major contributor to "One Hundred Years of Scottish Hockey", a lavish book published to mark the centenary of the Scottish Hockey Centenary Celebrations and Tournament; and produced pamphlets on the history of Indoor and Outdoor Hockey Rules. He shared many of the photos with me, particularly relating to Indian hockey. It was through him that I learnt of Colonel Bruce Turnbull who became the first President of Indian Hockey Federation in 1925. As it happened, I wrote an article on Bruce Turnbull in August 2020 and spoke with Ernie on the phone in June this year.
He was a great supporter of my Sikhs in Hockey website. With his vast knowledge of hockey around the world, he provided information on the contribution of Sikhs worldwide. If it had not been for Ernie, I never would have known that Sikhs were playing hockey in Palestine. Ernie recalled playing hockey with Sikh Regiments when he was stationed in Palestine back in 1940-41.
Ernie contributed to The Hockey Museum with many items when the Museum was established in 2011. He would post the items to me to take to the Museum, never accepting any money or reimbursements in return.

Sikhs in Hockey

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