CHENNAI : Former India hockey player and a member of the 1980 Moscow Olympics winning team, Ravinder Pal Singh, passed away on Saturday in Lucknow due to Covid-19. He was admitted to a hospital on April 24 after returning Covid positive. Born on September 6, 1958, Ravinder represented the country in two consecutive Olympic Games - 1980 in Moscow and 1984 in Los Angeles. India finished fifth at the 1984 Games. Ravinder represented India in the 1979 Junior World Cup and was a member of the national team that competed in the Champions Trophy held in Karachi (1980 and 1983).
He also played in the Silver Jubilee 10- Nation Cup held in Hong Kong (1983), India-Pakistan Test Series (1981) and the 1982 Asia Cup staged in Karachi. V Baskaran, the captain of the Indian team at the Moscow Olympics, was shocked and saddened at the demise of his dear friend and former teammate. “Indian hockey has lost a very humble and down to earth hockey star from Lucknow. As a former captain, my heart goes out to his family members,’’ said Baskaran. The former national coach said that his friendship with Ravinder began in the late 70s.
“I happen to meet him in the training camp in the year 1979 and shared a room with him. He was an excellent centre-half on astroturf. Very sound in basics, good in attack and defence. I last spoke to him in January 2021,’’ said an emotional Baskaran. “In fact, me as a lefthalf, MM Sommaya as a righthalf and Ravinder at centre combined and moved well to attack.
I remember though he was my junior in the 1980 Olympics, his contribution at meetings before the games was special. Many times, he used to sing in the Olympic village and keep us engaged,’’ added the president of the Chennai Hockey Association.