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KPS Gill Was India's Finest Hockey Administrator: Former Hockey Greats

KPS Gill passed away on Friday at the age of 82, and apart from being a tough cop he was also the man who led the administration of India's national sport, hockey, for a long tenure of 14 years. Former hockey greats have collectively termed his passing away as a big loss for Indian hockey.

Arnab Sen, Arjit Dabas@arnabsentweet

Updated:May 26, 2017, 5:35 PM IST
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KPS Gill Was India's Finest Hockey Administrator: Former Hockey Greats
(Getty Images)

KPS Gill passed away on Friday at the age of 82, and apart from being a tough cop he was also the man who led the administration of India's national sport, hockey, for a long tenure of 14 years. Former hockey greats have collectively termed his passing away as a big loss for Indian hockey.

Gill took over the reins at the Indian Hockey Federation, the then recognised national body by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), in the year 1994 and stayed as it's President till it lost the battle for recognition to the Narinder Batra-led Hockey India.

Former Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh shared his grief on the passing away of the octogenarian, saying that Gill was perhaps the best hockey administrator that India has ever seen.

"He was the finest administrator that I have seen during my playing days. He did a lot for Indian hockey. He was someone who used to be personally in touch with the players. I remember when Sandeep Singh was injured in an accident and I was with him, Mr Gill made repeated calls to check on Sandeep's condition, he was without doubt a great administrator and an even better human being," said Rajpal, who captained India to landmark victories in the 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and the inaugural Asian Men's Champions Trophy.

Rajpal further highlighted Gill's contribution towards the growth of hockey in India by saying that it was KPS Gill, who spearheaded the launch of the league structure in Indian hockey.

"He was a visionary, and knew what would benefit hockey in India. It was under his stewardship that India tasted success in the Asia Cup for the first time in 2003, and repeated that in 2007. India also won back the Gold medal in the Asian Games in 1998 under his watch. All this was a result of the work Mr Gill did at the grassroot level. He was the first one to introduce the league format in India," said Rajpal.

Another Indian legend Dhanraj Pillay praised Gill for his ability to get connect with the players and also get sponsorship for the sport of hockey.

"Mr Gill was the finest man I knew. He wanted to see India win an Olympic Gold under while he was at the helm of affairs. He was always ready to listen to the players, and also the best facilities were provided by him. Some of the best national camps, with facilities were made available.

"He always prioritised the players. His connections with the corporate world also helped Indian hockey get sponsors. The PHL and World Hockey League were his brainchild. His loss is big for Indian hockey," Pillay said.

Former Indian captain Pargat Singh also praised KPS Gill as a firm leader who led Indian hockey to greater heights.

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