• If the cricket was disastrous for India — losing four out of five Test matches — the Indian team was advertised by the Australian press as a beacon of hope for the newly independent and recently partitioned country.
  • When India played Britain in the hockey finals at Wembley Stadium before some 10,000 spectators on August 12 — just three days before India’s second Independence Day — neither the persistent wet weather nor a muddy ground could stop the Indian team.
  • The pinnacle of Indian football was perhaps reached at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta, where India won its second football gold medal but against a much stronger field than in the 1951 Asiad.
  • It was only in cricket, where India were also-rans earlier, that the Indian performance brought occasional cheer.
  • Even as cricket gained in popularity, the Indian team won major trophies and India became the de facto headquarters of world cricket, India’s performance in other sports was tardy.

Read more…