India has had a glorious past in the sport of Hockey. With 11 Olympic medals – 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals – India is the most successful team in the history of field hockey.
Despite languishing in the 5th spot in the World rankings currently, India has produced many top players throughout her history. Although, India has petered away of late, her achievements are unparalleled and when talking about the best hockey players, no list would be complete without including players from the subcontinent.There have been plenty of players who have captured the attention of the viewers with scintillating stickwork, mazy runs, brilliant defending and their goalscoring prowess.
We try our best to narrow the list down to just 5 of the greatest hockey players India has produced:
5. Udham Singh
Originally from Jalandhar Punjab, Udham Singh was one of India’s finest players. Standing at just 5 foot 6 inches and weighing just 58 kgs, he never let his small stature affect his game. He is the joint most successful Indian Olympian, winning 3 Olympic gold medals and 1 silver medal. He was part of the Helsinki (1952), Melbourne (1956) and Tokyo (1964) Olympic gold-winning teams apart from winning the silver at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
He could have made his Olympic debut as early as 1948, but a finger injury prevented him from becoming the only Indian to have represented the country at five consecutive Olympic Games. Moreover, he could have also become the most successful Olympian by being part of the all-conquering 1948 Olympics hockey team.
After his playing career, the diminutive hockey player took charge of the Indian team as manager winning the silver medal at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 and the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok. He was conferred with the Arjuna award in 1965 for his contribution to Indian hockey.