When Don Bradman gave Dhyan Chand a compliment in Adelaide in 1935

When Don Bradman gave Dhyan Chand a compliment in Adelaide in 1935

Dhyan Chand, who passed away in December 1979, had three unprecedented Olympic gold medals won in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

Don Bradman
Don Bradman. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Two of the greatest sportsmen to have graced their respective sports Donald Bradman and Major Dhyan Chand also share the month of their birthdays, though the hockey wizard was senior by three years. And when the cricket’s Don met the ‘don’ of hockey, he said something that constructed a perfect tribute to the latter. We recall that today on Dhyan Chand’s 113th birth anniversary, observed in India as National Sports Day.

Dhyan Chand, who passed away in December 1979, had three unprecedented Olympic gold medals won in 1928, 1932 and 1936 and his magical display with the stick had bowled over even the Fuehrer – Adolf Hitler. Chand had scored over 400 international goals in hockey.

‘You score goals like runs’

Sports historian Mohandas Menon shared an interesting anecdote on Twitter on Dhyan Chand’s birthday and it is about a 1935 meeting between the hockey genius and Sir Donald Bradman, the legendary Australian batsman who retired with a batting average of 99.94. At that meeting in Adelaide, Bradman told Chand: “You score goals like runs in cricket!” The world also remembered Sir Don whose 110th birth anniversary fell on August 27 and Internet giant Google paid tributes to him through a doodle.

Dhyan Chand was conferred with the Padma Bhushan Award in 1956. It is said that Hitler had offered him an army rank position after watching his game which Chand had politely turned down saying he loved to be in his own country. It was Chand’s final appearance at the Olympic and he captained India to defeat Germany 8-1 in the final.

In 2014, there was a clamour to award him India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna when sports was included in the categories that qualified for the honour. However, Dhyan Chand lost the race to former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who became the first sportsperson of the country to receive the prestigious award.

However, on the occasion of the National Sports Day each year, the president of India presents awards related to sports and they include Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to honour sporting personalities in their respective fields.

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