New Delhi, March 15 (IANS)
Forty years back on March 15, 1975, the Indian men's hockey team accomplished a historic feat by beating Pakistan 2-1 in the World Cup final to earn the title of champions. Remembering the occasion and achievement, Hockey India (HI) congratulated the team. Led by captain Ajit Pal Singh, the team left no stone unturned to ensure that they got the Cup home from Kuala Lumpur. They were placed in Group B of the tournament with West Germany, Australia, England, Argentina and Ghana.
By virtue of three wins, one loss and one draw, India advanced to the semifinals to play home team Malaysia where they won 3-2. They had a close contest against Pakistan in the final and it was Ashok Kumar's all- important winning goal that gave India the title.
"After 40 years, I still feel proud of the moment when we earned the title of champions. I would like to congratulate each member of the winning squad and would like thank them that they made this day possible for every Indian. It is this feat which gives us the motivation that we can repeat history and win the title again," HI president Narinder Batra said.
The team comprised of Ajit Pal, Ashok, Mohd. Aslam Sher Khan, Harcharan Singh, Leslie Fernandez, Varinder Singh, Ashok Diwan, Michael Kindo, B.P. Govinda, H.J.S. Chimni, V.J. Phillips, Onkar Singh, Kaliah P.E., Surjit Singh, Shivaji Pawar and Mohinder Singh.
The 1975 World Cup was the third edition of the tournament. India won bronze in the first edition in 1971, silver in 1973 and went one better the next time. Since then, India have never been able to reach the last four of the tournament.