Karnail Singh Kullar

68 year old Karnail Singh Kullar who played as centre forward has settled in Canada after retiring from army as Naik.

In his playing days, he was considered as tough centre forward and his ability to score the goal was highly appreciated by all. He represented UP in nationals mant times and also played for Poona XI in Gold Cup Bombay Hockey Tournament in 1957, besides regularly playing for his employers B.E.G. Roorkee. He keeps visiting Sansarpur off and on and the interview was conducted by the researcher during his visit to the village. Following are the excerpts of the interview.

About his early childhood, of which he had fond memories, he told the researcher that he enjoyed the typical Sansarpur village life during his early days. Village life in those days used to revolve around the game of hockey in those days. Evening village games and village tournaments which were held regularly, were the focus of attention of the villagers and all youngsters and elders used to take part in them. He learnt his hockey in this great nursery of Sansarpur and was benefited greatly by the village tournaments.

When the researcher asked him that in his playing days, he was considered a very good player and his ability to score the goal while playing as centre forward was given due respect by all his opponents, yet he could not represent India. What were the reasons in his opinion which deprived him of this great honour ? Karnail Singh Kullar replied by saying that one important reason which he now realises was his lack of education. As he did not receive college education, he could not get a chance to play at college level. Due to this his playing opportunities were restricted, otherwise he might have been noticed by national selectors. However, he was once selected among stand-byes for 1954 Indian hockey team tour to Poland. But the later was later canceled due to reasons he did not remember.

On asking about the memorable goals he scored, Karnail Singh Kullar told the researcher that once he was playing with B.E.G., Roorkee team against NE Railways, Gorkhpur team at Lady Hardinge ground ( Now known as Shivaji ground ), Delhi, in Dhyan Chand hockey tournament in 1955. It was a semi-final of the tournament . He received the ball at the centre line. From there he took the ball to the goal line by beating several defenders and then scooped the ball into the top corner of the net to score the goal. His ball was so swift that even referee could not see that goal has been scored and he whistled for goal after several minutes, when he was told about the goal by other players and goal-keeper himself confirmed the goal. He further added that many among the spectators came to him after the game to congratulate him for the goal and told him that they had not seen such a beautiful goal being scored in their life time. With this the researcher thanked him for the interview

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