Keshav Datt

Keshav Datt, 1948 and 1952 Olympic star, passes away

One among India’s most interesting hockey gamers, a double Olympic gold medallist, Keshav Datt handed away within the early hours on Wednesday. Datt, 95, is survived by two sons and a daughter.

As per his attendant Dolly Bairahi, who had confirmed the information of his demise, his demise was brought on resulting from age-related illnesses, as the previous hockey star had not been in the perfect of well being for a while.

Born in Lahore in 1925, Datt pursued his lecturers and sports activities on the Authorities School within the western Punjab metropolis. He was mentored by the legendary Dhyanchand and progressed quickly, taking part in alongside KD Singh Babu. Datt got here into the limelight whereas representing Punjab within the Nationwide Championship in pre-Partition India. After independence, he moved to Bombay and later to Calcutta in 1950, representing Bombay and Bengal on the Nationwide Championships.

Datt was a member of the Indian hockey staff that received the gold medal on the 1948 London Olympics. 4 years later, he was the vice-captain of the Indian staff on the Helsinki Video games that bagged one other gold medal. For the 1956 Melbourne Olympics although, he opted to skip the occasion as he wasn’t granted go away by his employer Brooke Bond.

“Once I was rising up in hockey, Keshav, Balbir (Singh Sr), (Leslie) Claudius and (Randhir Singh) Mild have been heroes for us. He was an incredible educator,” hockey Olympian and former India captain Gurbux Singh advised The Indian Specific.

“In 1956-57, once I landed in Calcutta, I noticed Keshav taking part in for Mohun Bagan. He was an incredible centre-half and an intensive gentleman. I performed a couple of matches in opposition to him and he was my selector additionally. Hockey was performed on grass in these days and it was much more tough to manage the ball and distribute it on that floor. Now on Astro Turf, it’s a lot simpler. Sure, bodily it’s extra strenuous now however on grass, it was a distinct ball sport,” Singh added. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled Datt’s demise. Tennis star and 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Leander Paes posted a heartfelt condolence message on Twitter.

As a hockey participant, Calcutta Port Commissioners was Datt’s first port of name. Well-known Bengali movie actor Jahar Ganguly, then hockey secretary of Mohun Bagan, took him to the green-and-maroons. At Mohun Bagan, Datt received the Calcutta League six occasions and the Beighton Cup thrice. He was extensively thought to be one of many most interesting half-backs in Indian hockey.

Mohun Bagan conferred him with the Mohun Bagan Ratna in 2019.

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