From Dhyan Chand to MAK Patuadi: A look at the Top 10 Indian Sporting families

The Wizard of Hockey with his brother Roop Singh

Sports are integral to any society; different sports are given importance in various countries. Families which tend to have a sportsperson in them see the future generations also turn into Sportspersons. There are a many of sporting dynasties in the world with the younger generations following in the footsteps of their parents.Also read: Milkha Singh: Did he ever hold the 400m world record? 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' makes major goof by claiming he didHere’s a look at some Global sporting families:1.The Alis(boxing) – Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxing champions in history, his daughter Laila is carrying forward his legacy in boxing with an unbeaten streak of 24-0.2.The Lampard's (football) – Many people don’t know that Frank Lampard is also from a sporting family, his father Frank Lampard Sr. had a long and illustrious career for West Ham where he spent 20 years. Frank Lampard also started his career at West Ham and then went on to play for Chelsea where he attained legend status. He also turned out in City colours for a season before moving to MLS.Also read: Dhyan Chand: 10 interesting facts3.The Maldini's(football) – Cesare Maldini was a centre back who captained AC Milan and captured 4 Serie A titles. His son Paolo Maldini not only captained AC Milan but also Italy.4.The Rosberg’s( Formula One)- Keijo Erik Rosberg was the first Finnish driver to drive competitively in Formula one, he won the Championship in 1982. His son Nico Rosberg currently races for Mercedes in the Formula one. The Broads (cricket) – Chris Broad was an opening batsman for England and scored 6 centuries in 26 matches for England. His son Stuart Broad is a fast bowler who plays all three formats for England and is also the T20 captain.There is no dearth of Sporting Dynasties in the world and India also has their very own Sporting families despite other sports, not getting the same amount of importance as in other countries. Here’s a look at 10 Sporting families in India.

#10 Dhyan Singh and Roop Singh (Hockey):

The Wizard of Hockey with his brother Roop Singh

Dhyan Chand is considered the greatest player to ever grace the sport of Hockey. Known as the Wizard of Hockey he is most remembered for his goal scoring feats, ball control and his three consecutive Olympic Gold medals with the Indian team. Dhyan Singh enrolled into the army at the age of 16, the hindi word “Chand” which means moon was the nickname given to him by his fellow players because he used to wait for the moon to come out and then practice.

Chand scored more than 400 during his career, including three goals each in all the Olympic finals. His brother Roop Singh was also an amazing player and was one of the best left flank players the game has seen. He had a lot of power in his shots and it is also said that Dhyan Chand asked him to control the power otherwise someone would get hurt. Roop Singh has a street named after him in Berlin after his awe invoking performances in the Berlin Olympics.

His best remembered performances are the 3 goals he scored against Japan and 10 goals against USA in the Los Angeles Olympics. Roop Singh was someone who lived in living in style and dressing well, there is this anecdote about him, where he was unwilling to leave for the Los Angeles Olympics because he did not have the right clothes for the occasion. Their father Subedar Sameshwar Dutt Singh was also a hockey player in the British army. Dhyan Chand’s son Ashok Kumar was also well known hockey player who was part of the Indian team which won the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

#9 Milkha Singh and Jeev Milkha Singh:

Jeev Milkha and father Milkha Singh

Milkha Singh better known to the world as the Flying Sikh was a track and field sprinter who represented India 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics. He also won gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth games. One of his best performances was the 4th place finish in the 1956 Olympics where he was leading the race till the 200 meter mark but lost out because he slowed down to check where his competitors were which led to three other racing past him and which led to a photo finish where Otis Davis beat Carl Kaufmann by one-hundredth of a second.

Milkha’s 45.73 was an Indian track record which stood for almost 41 years. His wife Nirmal Kaur is a former Indian Volleyball captain and both of them met in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1955 before getting married in 1964. Jeev Milkha Singh their son is a professional golfer on won his first title in 1993. He is just one of three golfers to receive the Arjuna Award. He has a total of 20 professional wins and is just the second Indian golfer after Arjun Atwal to participate in the European Tour. He also played in the PGA tour from 2007 to 2010.

#8 Ramanathan and Ramesh Krishnan (Tennis)

Ramanathan and Ramesh Krishnan

Ramanathan Krishnan was India’s first professional tennis player. He won the Wimbledon Juniors Title in 1954 and reached the Wimbledon semi-finals on two occasions, losing to the eventual champions on both occasions. He was trained by his father TK. Ramanathan who was an amateur player in Nagercoil, their hometown.He believed in discipline and would train his ward rigorously berating him at times to push him as much as possible.

Ramanathan Krishnan beat Rod Laver of Australia which can be considered one of his best matches. He also reached his career best ranking in 1961 of No. 6. Taking forward the family name his son, Ramesh emulated his performance at the Wimbledon, clinching the juniors title and also won the Juniors French open title the same year. Ramesh reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon once and the US Open twice but never lifted the trophy. He was admired for his anticipation and touch, but the lack of a killer finish and a strong serve prevented him for reaching greater heights.

His greatest victory came against the then World No. 1 Mats Wilander during the 1989 Australian Open. He represented India in the Davis Cup from 1977 to 1993 and became the Davis Cup captain in 2007. Ramesh retired in 1993 and was India’s Davis Cup captain in 2007.

#7 Vece Paes and Leander Paes(Hockey and Tennis

  1. Wimbledon Champion Leander Paes and father Vece Paes

    Vece Paes was was part of the Indian hockey contingent which won the Bronze medal in the 1972 Olympics that were played in Munich. He married Jennifer Dutton who was also a sportsperson and captained the Women’s Basketball team in 1980 during the Asian Basketball Championship. She is the granddaughter of the famous Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt.

  2. Their son Leander Paes is India’s most successful tennis player. Leander started his tennis career at the Amritraj Academy in Chennai and this is where his tennis career took off. He first won titles at the US Open and Wimbledon as a junior and became number one in the juniors ranking. He turned pro in 1991 and partnered Ramesh Krishnan during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where they lost in the quarterfinals.

    But in the next edition at Atlanta he beat Fernando Meligini to win an individual medal at the Olympics, the first since KD Jadhav in 1952 almost four decades before. Over the years, he has gotten better and better with age. Winning a total of 55 Doubles titles and 8 mixed doubles titles, his most recent one being the 2015 Wimbledon title with Martina Hingis of Switzerland. He also has a record of most doubles partners which stands at an astounding figure of 102.

#6 Sunil Gavaskar and Rohan Gavaskar(Cricket)

  1. Rohan and Sunil Gavaskar share a lighter moment

    Sunil Manohar Gavaskar is considered one of the greatest opening batsman to ever grace the game. He was known for his exquisite straight drives and extremely reliable defence and held the record for the most test hundreds (34) till Sachin Tendulkar broke his record. He scored a 65 and 67 respectively on his test debut in the second test against West Indies and scored the winning runs to give India their first win over the West Indies.

  2. He scored a 124 and 220 against West Indies in the fifth and final test to secure India’s first series win against the West Indies. That effort made him only the second cricketer after Doug Walters to score a century and double century in the same match.

  3. He was also the first man to amass 10,000 Test runs and went past Don Bradman’s test record of 29 centuries, eventually scoring a total of 34 centuries. He was a brilliant slip fielder and was the first Indian fielder excluding wicket-keepers to take more than 100 catches. He also holds the record for the most number of runs scored in a debut series, 774 against West Indies.

  4. His son Rohan Gavaskar also is a cricketer who played more first-class games than international games and played most of his career under the shadow of his father’s brilliance. He played just 10 ODI games and could never make an impact. But his first-class career was noteworthy with some match-winning knocks. He was made the Bengal captain in 2001-02 but they had dismal seasons and failed to win the Ranji on two consecutive attempts after losing in the finals.

#5 Roger Binny and Stuart Binny (Cricket):

  1. Stuart and Roger at the KSCA

    Roger Binny was an all-rounder who played for India in 27 Test matches and 72 ODIs. He played an integral part in India’s first World Cup win in 1983 picking up 18 wickets and was also the tournament’s leading wicket-taker. He was a useful swing bowler and also a handy batsman who saved India from the blushes many times when the top order failed. He was also the first Anglo-Indian player to represent India.

  2. His son Stuart Binny also represents India and is currently playing against Sri Lanka in the second test. Stuart is also an all-rounder who had a tough time getting into the team but consistent performances over the past few years have given him the India call-up. He plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket and turns out for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He also holds the best bowling figures in a match by an Indian bowler in ODIs with figures of 6 for 4 versus Bangladesh.

#4 Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (Cricket):

  1. One of India’s most charismatic cricketers
  2. IAK Pataudi
  3. Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi the eighth Nawab of Pataudi was an incredible sports person who is one of the few cricketers to represent two countries in international cricket. He represented both England and India playing three games each for both countries. He faced the wrath of the Douglas Jardine during the infamous Bodyline series as he did not approve of such tactics and was dropped for the series after scoring a century on Test debut against Australia at Sydney.
  4. He had a marvelous first-class career for Worcestershire with an average well over 45. He was to be the captain during India’s first test series but gave up the job due to deteriorating health. The Marylebone Cricket Club in 2007 commemorating India’s 75th year of playing Tests named the England vs India series after him. He died after suffering a heart attack while playing Polo on his son’s 11th Birthday.
  5. MAK Pataudi or Tiger as known by many was also prolific cricketer from his school days. He met with an accident while in London where a glass shard from a broken windscreen entered and damaged his right eye. Thought to be the end of his cricketing career Tiger nevertheless was back in the nets six months later practicing batting with a single eye.
  6. Despite the injury, he was considered the best slip fielder and an exceptional batsman. He became the test captain at 21 as Nari Contractor the then captain was injured by a ball from Charlie Griffith. He played a total of 46 matches for India out of which he captained 40. He was named the Indian Cricketer of the year in 1962 and Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968.

#3 Syed Nayeemuddin and Syed Fazaluddin (Football and Tennis):

Fazaluddin former Indian tennis player
Former Indian footballer and coach

Syed Nayeemuddin was a former Indian football player and coach. He was the captain during India’s bronze medal victory at the 1970 Asian Games. Nayeemuddin is also the only sportsperson to receive both the Arjuna and Dronacharya award for football. Under his tutelage India won the South Asian Football Federation(SAFF) Cup in 1997 and reached the Nehru Cup finals for the first time.

His second stint as coach was in 2005 but left in 2006 due to dismal performances. He was cast aside by the Indian Football Federation and wasn’t given is due.

He later coached the Bangladesh national team and now coaches Brothers Union a club in Dhaka. Syed Fazaluddin, his son was a professional tennis player who competed in the ATP world tour and achieved a Top 400 ranking. He also represented India in the Davis Cup between 1998 and 2001. He retired in 2002 and coached Mahesh Bhupathi and Martin Damm the former World No. 1 pair during the 2005 US Open. He also coached Bhupathi in mixed doubles the same year. Fazaluddin also won the bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. He now runs a tennis academy in Philadelphia.

#2 Vijay Manjrekar and Sanjay Manjrekar (Cricket):

Vijay Manjrekar represented India in 55 Test matches and was considered a great hooker and cutter of the ball. He scored 3,200 runs at an average of slightly over 39. He debuted in 1951 against England in Calcutta (Kolkata) and played a poised innings of 48. His first century came against England at Headingley where he made 133 at the age of just 20.

He was a force to be reckoned with but faced problems with his weight and footwork and that prevented him from attaining more success in the game.He scored a hundred against New Zealand in his final game and also holds the record for most number of runs without a six (3,200). He also represented 6 teams in the Ranji Trophy.

Sanjay Manjrekar, his son also represented India playing 34 Tests and 74 ODI’s. He played the role of a wicket-keeper batsman and made his debut in 1987 against West Indies. He is most remembered for his knock of 218 against Pakistan in the 1989 series. In the fourth innings of the third Test he scored a century that helped India secure a draw. He enjoyed a highly successful First Class career. He retired in 1996 but went on to play first-class cricket for two more seasons. Following his retirement, he took up the career of a commentator and now does commentary during most of India’s series.

#1 Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anirudha Srikkanth (Cricket):

Kris and Anirudha Srikkanth

Kris Srikkanth was considered one of India’s most attacking batsman made his debut against England in Bombay at the age of 21, he was an opener who complemented, Sunil Gavaskar with his attacking style of play.

He was the top scorer from both teams in the 1983 World Cup final with 38 and played a key role when India won the World Championships two years later in 1985. He was made Test captain in 1989 but due to his lacklustre performances was dropped from the side after drawing all four tests as captain against Pakistan.

He was brought back two years later and then was dropped again, later. He retired in 1993 after playing 43 Tests and 146 ODI’s. Srikanth will also be remembered for being the chairman of the selection committee, that picked the Indian team which won the World Cup after a gap of 28 years.

His son Anirudha Srikkanth is also an attacking opening batsman who made his First-class debut at the age of 16. He has since become an integral part of the Tamil Nadu Ranji team. Anirudha has played in the IPL turning out for the Chennai Super Kings for his first few seasons until he was sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad last year. He will be hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps and hope to get a call-up to the Indian team and put up impressive performances.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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