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Kishan Lal

Kishan Lal
Personal information
Born (1917-02-02)2 February 1917
Mhow, Central India Agency, British India
Died 23 June 1980(1980-06-23) (aged 63)
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Playing position Halfback
Senior career
Years Team
Indian Railways
Central India
National team
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Medal record
Men's Field hockey
Representing  India
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1948 London Team

Kishan Lal (2 February 1917 – 23 June 1980) was an Indian field hockey player. He captained the Indian hockey team at the 1948 Summer Olympics to gold, winning independent India's first gold medal by defeating Great Britain 4-0 in the final.

Early life

Born in Mhow in 1917, Lal started playing hockey at the age of 14. In 1933, he represented Mhow Heroes and Mhow Green Walls and played for Kalyanmal Mills, Indore. In 1937, he joined the Bhagwant Club of Tikamgarh.


He was selected for the Indian hockey team for the eventually canceled 1940 Summer Olympics.[citation needed]

In 1941, he joined Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI). He played for Central India in the Senior National Hockey Championship. Under his captaincy, the team won three championships in a row.[citation needed]

1948 Olympics

Kishan Lal captained the Indian hockey team to gold at the 1948 London Olympics.[1] This included victories over Austria (8-0), Argentina (9-1), Spain (2-0), and the Netherlands (2-1) before beating Great Britain by 4-0 in the final.[2][3][4][5] Lal was rated by The Times as an "outstanding forward on the field".[6]


Kishan Lal coaching some players

After a career spanning 28 years, he retired from competitive hockey but remained connected with the game until 1976. He served as the chief coach of the Railways Sports Control Board for twenty years, during which they won the national hockey championship 14 times and 6 draws.

In 1964, he was invited to train in Malaysia. In 1968, he was invited to coach East Germany.[citation needed]

Personal life

Kishan Lal had four sons and a daughter. His eldest son, Devki Lal was also hockey coach. Devki died on September 21, 2009.[citation needed]


He died on 23 June 1980 and was cremated at the Sion Crematorium in Bombay.[7][citation needed]


In 1966, he was awarded with the Padma Shri by President of India Dr Sarvapalli Radha Krishnan.[citation needed]


He is considered one of the greatest inside forwards in field hockey. He is known as the fastest player in the wing position and a gentlemanly player. According to Gian Singh, "Many times, I would think he would score but invariable he would pass the ball to inside forwards or the center forward to do the finishing touch."[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Indian Teams For Olympics". Morning Tribune. 15 June 1948. p. 14.
  2. ^ "India's Easy Preliminary Hockey Win". The Indian Express. Reuters. 1 August 1948. p. 7.
  3. ^ "India's Hockey Win On Wet Ground". The Indian Express. 7 August 1948. p. 7.
  4. ^ "India Enter Olympic Hockey Final". The Indian Express. 10 August 1948. p. 7.
  5. ^ Valentine, Alex (13 August 1948). "India Wins Fourth Olympic Hockey Championship". The Indian Express. Reuters. p. 7.
  6. ^ "British Praise For India's Hockey Wizardry". The Indian Express. 15 August 1948. p. 9.
  7. ^ "Kishan Lal True story".
  8. ^ Patra, Sajal (15 August 2021). "Independence Day 2021: From Milkha Singh to Sachin Tendulkar, a Look at Indias Greatest XI in Sports Post Independence".
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Kishan Lal
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