I do not play hockey but I love to watch the game. And few occasions provide better hockey than the annual Sindhia Hockey Tournament at Gwalior.
I saw the final match of the tournament. It was a sunny day-the best weather games. A large number of prominent people and hockey lovers had gathered to watch the match.
The Chief Minister and other high officials, was present there. All round the field, students and common public had gathered. The spectators were impatiently waiting for the match to begin.
The players took the field exactly at 4 p.m. The yellow dresses of the Madhya Pradesh Blues presented a striking contrast to the yellow and green dresses of the Saurashtra Eleven.
Mukesh Kumar and some other famous Olympic players were playing for Madhya Pradesh. On the other side the Saurashtra Eleven were the hockey champions of their province. Hence everybody expected a very good game.
From the very beginning the game proved thrilling. The Madhya Pradesh Blues were active and began their attack with great vigour.
They showed the excellent combination and real team spirit. Their forward players combined well and passed the ball with great skill.
Thus they were able to make repeated attacks on the Saurashtra Eleven who had to play a defensive game.
The defence line of the Saurashtra was quite strong. Their centre half was a tower of strength for his side. Again and again, he had a tough contest with Mukesh Kumar who would not easily get the better of him.
During the first half of the game the Saurashtra Eleven were hard pressed. After the half time the game began with fresh enthusiasm.
Mukesh, the captain of the Madhya Pradesh Blues seemed rather vexed at the inability of his side to score. Now he decided to lead the attack.
On the other hand the Saurashtra Eleven changed their tactics. New they also began to attack fiercely. For a few moments the game was extremely contested.
At first seemed that Saurashtra Eleven would defeat their opponents. But soon it became clear that they were more or less tired. Moreover, they were individually good players, but lacked combination and team spirit.
The game reached its height during the last 10 minutes. Mukesh Kumar carried the ball to the goal circle, passed it to right out who gave a hard hit.
The ball went straight to the net. The spectators were wild with joy. Anurag Gupta who had given the lucky shot became the hero of the crowd.
Now the game became highly excited. The Saurashtra Eleven made every effort to score but Madhya Pradesh backs and half-backs put up a hard defence.
They would not let the ball touch even their goal circle. Mukesh Kumar scored another goal. This was a decisive blow.
Now Saurashtra Eleven knew that it was all over. So the match ended in a victory for the Madhya Pradesh Blues who received the gold trophy from the Governor.