Indian hockey loses two veterans, M K Kaushik and Ravinder Pal Singh, to Covid
New Delhi, May 8, 2021
Saturday turned out to be a black day for Indian Hockey as the sport lost two veterans --M K Kaushik and Ravinder Pal Singh, who were part of the gold medal-winning team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics -- due to Covid-19.
Versatile right-half Kaushik (66) and ace centre-half Ravinder Pal Singh (63) represented India with distinction at Olympics, Asian Games and other international tournaments.
Kaushik is survived by his wife and a son, while Ravinder Pal was a bachelor.
"I just can't believe that we lost two hockey greats of the same era in the span of a few hours," said former captain Ajitpal Singh.
Former Olympian Jagbir Singh called it a sad day for Indian hockey. "We lost Ravinder Pal and Kaushik Bhai in one day. It is difficult to believe."
Another former international Viren Rasquinha tweeted: "Really sad day for Indian hockey and Indian sport. Two legends have passed away in a single day succumbing to Covid-19 complications -- Ravinder Pal Singh and MK Kaushik. Both were 1980 Moscow Olympics Hockey gold medallists. Just too shocked."
Arjuna Awardee Kaushik was the coach of both the Men's and Women's teams during the 1990s and 2000s.
Under his coaching, the Indian Men's Team won the gold medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games and the Women's Team won Bronze Medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.
He was also the Assistant Coach of the Indian Men's Hockey Team, which won the Asian Games Gold in 2014. For his contribution to Indian Hockey, he was also bestowed with the Dronacharya Award in 2002.
Having retired as Deputy Director of Sports with Haryana, Kaushik was also in charge of the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy and later at the National Hockey Academy in New Delhi as part of Khelo India before retiring late last month.
The former centre-half Ravinder Pal represented the national side in a number of tournaments which included the Champions Trophy in Karachi (1980, 1983), World Cup in Mumbai in 1982, Asia Cup in Karachi in 1982 and the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
Hockey India condoled the death of the two veterans. Its President Gyanendro Ningombam in a message to Kaushik's bereaved family, said, "We are extremely saddened to hear the news of his passing and we extend our deepest condolences to Kaushik's family and friends. His contribution to Indian hockey is unmatched and he will be remembered in our hearts forever."
In another message, he said, "Hockey India extends its deepest condolences to Ravinder Pal Singh's family. Ravinder made an immense contribution to Indian hockey and his achievements will always be remembered. May Ravinder's family and friends have the strength to pass through this difficult time."