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Ajit Pal Singh

Ajit Pal SinghAjit Pal Singh has been an Indian Hockey Player, and considered to be one of the most charismatic Center Halves the world of Hockey has ever seen. Apart from playing for the Indian Hockey team, he also led the team to wing the World Cup Hockey in 1975.

Early Life

He was born on the 1st of April 1947 at Sansarpur, a small village near Jallandhar Cantonment of Punjab, which was famous as a breeding ground for the Hockey stars as this village had been home to a number of International Hockey players who had done the nation proud with their commendable performance in the game.

Domestic Hockey

At the age of 7 or 8 years little Ajit had been handed over a Hockey stick by his uncle. He studied at the Cantonment Board Higher Secondary School, Jallandhar Cantonment and at the age of 16 years represented the Punjab State Schools Hockey team in the year 1963. During his initial days, Ajit used to play at the Full Back position. He moved to the Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jallandhar in the year 1964, and stayed there for a period of 4 years leading the college to 3 victories in the Punjab University College tournament. It was here that Ajit shifted from Full Back to Center Half, his real position. He was named the Captain of Punjab University Hockey team in the year 1966, and represented Indian Universities’ Hockey team in the year 1968.

International Hockey

Ajit Pal Singh made his debut in International Hockey with a tournament played at Bombay in the year 1960. He was selected in the Indian Hockey team that visited Japan in the year 1966, and participated in the Pre-Olympic tournament held in London the next year. Further, he played in the Olympic Games Mexico 1968 and delivered a brilliant performance although the Indian Hockey squad stood at 3rd spot at the event. Ajit played for the Indian Hockey team at Bangkok Asian Games 1970, and was named the Captain of the Indian squad that played at Post Shuan Tournament held at Singapore in 1971, and Tehran Asian Games 1974. The Indian team managed to grab a Silver Medal at both the events. He was a part of the Indian squad at Munich Olympic Games 1972, where the team finished at 3rd spot getting a Bronze Medal. He led the Indian Hockey team to World Cup Hockey tournament held at Kuala Lumpur in 1975 leading the team to win the tournament and also at Montreal Olympic Games 1976 where the Indian team fared really bad and finished at the 7th spot. After this debacle, Ajit Pal Singh retired from International Hockey, although he participated in his last International Hockey event in the year 1980 at Champions Trophy Tournament, Karachi. Even after his retirement from International Hockey, Ajit continued to play in Domestic Hockey Circuit for Border Security Force (B.S.F.) team.

Awards

As an honor to his outstanding contribution to Indian Hockey, Ajit Pal Singh was conferred upon the Arjuna Award in the year 1970. Further, he was also bestowed upon the Padma Shri award in the year 1992.

Achievements:

  • Asian All-Star team member in 1974
  • Captain of the World Cup winning Indian team in 1975

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