Meet Krishan Pathak: The junior hockey goalkeeper who missed his father's funeral to play for India
The junior Men’s team from India is currently visiting the United Kingdom to play a 7-match test series of hockey. Three matches have been played so far with the boys in blue having emerged victorious on every occasion. Amidst all of it, however, an account that has gone almost unheeded is the enormous sacrifice made by their goalkeeper – young Krishan Bahadur Pathak right before the start of the tournament.
With two days to go until the colts were to fly off to England for their hockey tour, the shattering news of the demise of his father Tek Bahadur reached Krishan at the national camp in Bangalore. His hometown Lugdi is a journey of about six hours from Kathmandu in Nepal, and getting there in time for his father’s last rites would mean giving up on the two-week competition which was about to commence the same week.
Harendra Singh, coach of the junior side came to his aid by giving him the go-ahead to depart for his native place without any apprehensions regarding his place in the team.
Still in shock, the 19-year-old had to take a call on whether to attend his father’s funeral or to stay onboard with the England-bound unit for his maiden tour. Contemplating the possibilities for quite a while, Krishan finally decided to stick to his initial scheme of things so as not to deviate from his goalkeeping responsibilities for the junior Indian team at the England campaign. His uncle’s assurance of overseeing that the funeral rituals are carried out properly also managed to ease some of the concerns on his mind.
Thereby, Krishan Pathak traveled to the English county of Berkshire and in the opening fixture itself, delivered a hero’s performance against the senior team from Scotland. In the encounter that ended 2-1 in India’s favor, the two custodians, Krishan and Suraj Karkera practically saved the day with their successful defending of a slew of penalty corners under the woodwork.
Hailing Krishan for his brilliant show of courage and defiance, coach Harendra Singh was elated after the win.
And then, on Sunday the 24th, the young side thrashed the same opponents 5-1 – seemingly the perfect gift for the birthday boy Krishan ‘Bahadur’ Pathak, quite befittingly named.