Sikh Hockey Player (B.1965)
The amazing part of Pargat Singh’s personality is that he looks anything except a defender. He is slim and has less than average height. He is far away from the picture of a common defender who is strongly built and of good height. But’Pargat Singh has not allowed ordinary physical features to cast a shadow on his standing as one of the best deep defenders that the game has today.
Today, Indian hockey revolves round his stickwork. He is the most skilful player on the Indian hockey scene. He may have a different style and approach to the game from the past Indian defenders but he carries one common trait too, like them he is committed to the cause of hockey and fully devoted. No wonder. then that he has already donned national colours in the Asia Cup, the World Cup and the Asian Games.
Born on March 5, 1965, at Mithapur near Jalandhar cantonment, Pargat Singh had his early education at a village school. Afterwards he joined Lyallpur Khalsa College. Jalandhar, which produced players of the calibre of Ajit Pal Singh and Surinder Singh Sodhi, both former captains. Soon Pargat Singh showed that he too had a class of his own. As’ a junior., he was included in the junior Indian hockey team. That was the kind of inspiration Pargat Singh needed. Graduating into the senior hockey team was a natural and smooth process for Pargat Singh who started emerging as the most talented player. He first represented India in the 10-nation hockey tournament at Hong Kong
Pargat Singh’s ability as a defender of high order was quickly realised. Pargat showed he had fine anticipation, skilful tackling, superb ball control and excellent-power of recovery. But he added a different meaning to the concept of deep defence. He adhered to the aggressive,- attacking style. He was not content to sit back, rather stand back and watch. No, he may suddenly leave the fort and charge into the battle, rattling – the rival forces. The style no doubt had the disadvantage too for, it left gaps in the defence . But the style yielded rich dividends too.
In the Champions Trophy at Perth in Australia, India were trailing 1-5 against Germany with just six minutes to go, But on that particular day, Indians did not lose hope and hoped to strike. And strike they did. One after another India blasted three goals to make it 4-5. With only a few seconds to go, Pargat Singh collected the. ball from his own half and ran down the field. Dribbling and dodging, he tore apart the German defence to score a unique goal.
Pargat Singh repeated the action in the next Champions Trophy and gave India a 3-2 victory over Holland. Soft spoken and unassuming, Pargat Singh has been India’s mainstay. Under his command India have often fared creditably. Attack is the best form of defence, they say, and Pargatis the exponent of this art. He often carries the fight into the rival camp. Since he is the captain of the ‘ship, his repeated forays into the enemy camp, inspire his team-members. He is also leading India in the Barcelona Olympics. Since Pargat Singh is young, India can still depend on him for a number of years. Married recently Pargat Singh is also Vice -President of the Surjit Singh Memorial Hockey Tournament Society of which Mr Jagjit Puri is the secretary. Both are the main pillars of the society.
Source: Sikh Olympians – Harbans Singh Virdi