Michael Kindo: Michael Kindo was a gentleman, a pillar of strength: Ajitpal Singh | Hockey News

2021-01-01 04:11:49

NEW DELHI: “Michael Kindo was never in the team for himself, but always for the team itself. It’s very difficult to find a team player like him,” said India’s former hockey captain Ajitpal Singh as he fondly remembered his 1975 World Cup teammate Michael Kindo, who passed away in Rourkela on Thursday. Kindo was 73.
Kindo, a full-back during his playing days, was a member of the team that won India’s lone hockey World Cup gold in 1975. The doughty defender also won the 1972 Olympics bronze with the Indian team, besides a silver and a bronze in 1973 and 1971 World Cups.
“He was a pillar of strength for the team in the 1975 World Cup. Kindo, Surjeet Singh and Aslam Sher Khan were the deep defenders. Kindo and Surjeet had different qualities. Surjeet was very strong, well built, a hard hitter and very good taker of penalty corners. Kindo was a very good tackler. He always did the right job at the right time when he was in his position. We knew when Kindo was there, nobody would be able to beat him,” Ajitpal told TOI.

“As a captain, I had a lot of faith in him. I knew he would do his job. We did not need to tell him what to do,” he added.
Ajitpal called Kindo a thorough gentleman who played the game in the right spirit.
“He was a very clean player. He never hit anyone, never indulged in ugly spats. He never hung onto the ball for long. He was a gentleman and a disciplined man. He never fought with anybody. He never indulged in back-biting or groupism that you may see in some teams.

“I had the opportunity to have been his room partner during the 1973 World Cup in Amsterdam. We were together for two weeks. He was a very interesting person and very jovial.”
Kindo’s former teammate Aslam Sher Khan recalled the ‘jovial’ aspect of Kindo. He recollected how the team members would ask the defender to lighten up the mood when the players were feeling the pressure of performing in big matches.

“We played together for a decade. He kept everyone happy. He made people laugh. There was a lot of pressure on us as people expected the Indian hockey team to win gold medals always during those times. Michael was best in helping us in releasing the pressure by keeping us in a happier mood,” Aslam said.
“With him joking around, doing mimicry and acting at times helped us forget the pressure.”
Former captain Dilip Tirkey, said the player from Jharkhand was an inspirational figure.

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