TODAY -

One match and two Man of the Match

Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh *



It was the time when Olympic aspirant countries were fully engaged in the Hockey practice in 1987. Indian team also was fully preparing to display outstanding performance in the Olympic Games 1988. At such a crucial time Indian team was invited to the BMW World Hockey Tournament being held at Amstelveen, Netherlands.

The tournament was exclusively organised for four top countries which were selected after a critical assessment of the performance of the teams which were expected to win potentially in Olympic Games. The teams were West Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain and India. Kshetrimayum Thoiba was a key member of the Indian team.

The above four teams were invited to participate in the tournament to witness the display of the world's superb hockey performance. All the four teams were strong, superb and well trained under expert coaches. Three of the participant teams were from European countries. Their forwards were versatile; they had penalty corner specialists; their styles of play were defence oriented and they adopted sudden changes of positions with football style tactics.

The players were of high degree of technical and psychological maturities besides physical fitness in speed and stamina. Therefore, competitively their players were recognised as super power players. Every match was played equally as if it was the final match because every team was very strong and recognised as world champions.

The match between India and Germany turned out to be one of the memorable events. The tactic of Germany was man-toman marking in defence particularly when they identified dangerous players of the opponent teams. In the match one or two German players were always behind Thoiba from the beginning of the game. A tall and robust player always looked at Thoiba instead of looking at the ball and playing the game.

He always tried to physically obstruct with body and stick, pulling the shirt and sometimes obstructing his physical movement etc. He was trying to disturb Thoiba mentally and physically that he had to complain to the umpire against the German player.

The umpire who was keeping an eye on the entire situation warned the German player, but still he continued to obstruct Thoiba not to get the ball and also disallow to play the normal game. The India coach MP Ganesh and the team captain MM Sommaiah observed and analysed that Germany might have applied the tactics of sacrificing one or two players to obstruct the player specially Thoiba who played a very fast and speedy game which would be dangerous against them.

At that time Thoiba was one of the fastest players known as the 'Speeder' of world hockey. It had come to his mind that it was the reason why the Germans had decided to mark him so he does not get the ball during the match. It was felt that it was not wise to respond in the same tactic because they were taller and stronger. He was determined to defeat their effort and strategy by his own method using his speed and fast game.

He adopted his own style of running fast with the ball so as to make Germany difficult to mark him. He remembered at the time that the European style of playing the game was different from those of Asian countries. He also knew the European style of marking of the man-to-man defence technique of playing, and he succeeded in breaking through their strategies.

India could take the advantage and score a goal. Netherlands and Great Britain also applied almost similar strategies. India was able to reach the final stage and had to play with Great Britain. The final match was very crucial because Great Britain had already become one of the strongest teams; and the team was the World Cup runners up at Willesden in 1986 and the country eventually became the Olympic Gold medallist in 1988 at Seoul.

Sean Kerly was considered as the fastest and speeder player of Great Britain. He was regarded as their 'executioner-in-chief' of goals mostly from fine passes of their left-wing, effervescent Imran Sherwani. At the beginning of the match, Great Britain played with splendid performance dominating the game and they led with 1-0. India also played with vigour and full speed.

As a result Thoiba was able to have a minus pass of the ball from his technique of 'speeder' that Jagbir Singh was able to convert the opportunity into a goal making scoreboard 1-1 draw. The two teams, India and Great Britain were declared joint winner of the tournament.

It was surprising that Thoiba of Indian team and Sean Kerly of Great Britain were also declared 'Man of the Match' of the tournament. Initially Thoiba did not understand how the Man of the Match was selected and what were the criteria of selection. Later on Indian team members along with the coach went to see the video recording of the match which was displayed on a wide screen.

From the analysis of the recording of the game, it was known that the criteria of selection of the Man of the match was not only the scoring of the goal but also more on the performance of the player who could break the man-to-man marking with their speed and skill which gave a new turn or change of the game.

Sean Kerly was also a player who could turn the game with his outstanding performance. It would be very interesting for Thoiba to play in such a tournament where his speed and performance was recognised worldwide. A lot of experience was also gained from such a high standard tournament.

Among the international tournaments he had participated, the BMW world Hockey Tournament was one of the most memorable events in his journey of Hockey. After a lapse of several years, it was in 2015 when Thoiba who was one of the selectors of Indian Hockey team was at the office of the Hockey India, Delhi to attend a meeting.

A tall and stout foreigner was found sitting in the office of Hockey India. The man could make an impression on Thoiba, but he could not recognise the man. The man also could not recognise Thoiba. Even after attending the meeting Thoiba saw the tall man still sitting in the office.

One of the staff members introduced the man to Thoiba as Sean Kerly, the Great Britain Olympian. The two Olympians introduced themselves with the years of the Olympic Games where they played for their respective countries. Both of them suddenly remembered their respective outstanding performances in the BMW World Hockey Tournament, Netherlands in 1987 wherein both of them were jointly declared as 'Man of the Match'.

'Man of the Match' was being regarded as the best player of the international tournament. The meeting of the two Olympians who were the 'two man of the match' after a gap of long years would surprisingly be a happy moment with a true sense of friendship through the spirit of sportsmanship among the international players.


* Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a PhD Scholar at Manipur University and can be reached at yaiphabafff(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 26, 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Empowering women through sports
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Dzuko 'the Nagmani'
  • 3rd foundation day- National Sport University
  • Research & Publication Ethics Workshop
  • Living Legends of Manipur : Wall Calendar
  • Cong existence felt, will it survive?
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi @Leimapokpam: Gallery
  • The voice inside me :: Poem
  • Let's embrace youths self esteem
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #2
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Menace on the roads of Imphal
  • Hill Valley bondage strengthened
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Shachi Gurumayum honoured overseas Indian
  • Enthusiasm of LFCA's children
  • Energy Conservation Material Management
  • Commandant 12th Bn NDRF called on CM
  • Water education for sustainability
  • Postpone Public Hearing on Gender Policy
  • Students at the forefront
  • Fuelling the anger
  • COVID Vaccine arrived @ Airport : Gallery
  • Major (Dr) Laishram Jyotin, Ashoka Chakra
  • Mushroom training program at Langmeidong
  • 5 years of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Drugs ki lansu amani
  • 3rd State Level Jump Rope Championship
  • Vaccine and low count of infection
  • Human fails to learn lessons from Corona
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #13
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Athing Mongbisu, Nemneikim: eMing
  • National Youth Day at Lilong Haoreibi
  • Face it all together: threat of pandemics
  • Majuli - India's only river island district
  • More of a question when, not should
  • Tungjoy re-visited
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID Vaccination Meeting with PM: Gallery
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #2
  • 18th BIG Call : Biotechnology Grant
  • Trade hate for love : Blissful 2021
  • Jump Rope (Judges & Referees) Exam
  • Connecting via Jiri
  • Dhanamanjuri University & its Identity Crisis
  • INA's Honour at the Battle of Imphal
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Ima Keithel @ Kanglatongbi/Sekmai : Gallery
  • Aromatic Oil Extraction training at Huishu
  • Tulihal - Our sweet old local airport
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #1
  • Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • The call for new normal still stands
  • 187 Death Anniv- Maharaj Gambhir : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #2
  • A message from mother nature :: Poem
  • New year resolution & complication
  • NEP-2020 : A new Landscape in Education
  • Wildfire in Dzuko, Senapati #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Satyamala : Most Fortunate Manipuri Princess
  • Transforming economy of the kingdom of God
  • Events and celebration as career
  • How to protect your lips in winter
  • Poppy plantation & drug trafficking
  • We Continue To Strive Forward
  • Press Club Foundation Day : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Bereavement : Grief Reaction
  • Emergency Response System : Gallery
  • This world :: Poem
  • Bitter truth
  • Re-opening and rethinking border trade
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 # 12
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #1
  • Life goes on !
  • Naga Rapper Macnivil - New Music Video
  • Awareness Prog with Women Commission
  • Farm Acts need of the hour
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Cold Storage @ Bishnupur Bazar : Gallery
  • Pronoia - The sociological antidote to corona
  • New Year 2021 :: Poem
  • Careers opportunity in Fashion Industry
  • Economic growth: A mirage so far
  • The law of Habit
  • Zeilad Lake in Tamenglong #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #1
  • Child Nutrition and their future
  • Guilt free self love - Not a sin!
  • 'Anguish over wild fire at Dziikou Valley'
  • Another message for another year
  • Lamphelpat: Victim of unplanned urbanisation
  • Politics and the War Against Drug
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Linguistic Society of America 2020 to Manipur
  • Time for Modi-Shah duo to ink the final pact
  • Vanishing Lamphelpat calls for conservation
  • New Community Centre at Ningthoukhong
  • Disturbed Area status: An unwelcome gift
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #3
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Presentation of Tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Manipur's super cops
  • The passing moment- clock of life :: Poem
  • Executive Committee of 2021-22 YMC
  • Take care of your hands this winter
  • RK Bhubonsana : Profile- Literature Awardee
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Prayers to honourable Home Minister
  • Book Release of Cheerom Meihoubarol
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #2
  • Biswajit Basu as Director (Projects), NHPC
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Bidding Goodbye 2020 with a toast of Corona
  • Let us not down NK Sanajaoba's Spirit
  • Dr Konika Khuraijam- SDP Achievers Award
  • One Day Adventure Programme at Lamdan
  • On stepping into a brand New Year
  • Welcome 2021: Will it be another happy days
  • Romita Yumnam is Mrs Jhansi 2020 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Mrs Romita Yumnam crowned Mrs Jhansi 2020
  • Year's End - 2020 :: Poem
  • Bye - Bye 2020 :: Poem
  • Maya Kuki in top 25 in Mrs Universe 2020
  • 2020: Decisive for the BJP in Manipur
  • The other side of Amit Shah & Manipuri talent
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #11
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • The cry of a disgruntled citizen
  • KVRSS Annual Research Awards 2020-21
  • Manage to reduce it
  • Life is a matter of choices
  • Painting Competition : Right to Information
  • New virus strain: The world is worried
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • January Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Shanti Thokchom #43 : Trip to Grand Canyon
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 2020 as the 'Year of Science'
  • Sampurna Raas Leela at Guwahati
  • Significant 2 hours delay in leaving lmphal
  • Biren will be Chief Ministerial candidate
  • Amit Shah @Imphal [Dec 27] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Organic cultivation of tomato
  • Xmas during pandemic - a time to reflect
  • Reviews of Loktak Downstream Project
  • Amit Shah: Man behind ILP in Manipur
  • S Lonphai, Henglep Sub-div, CCpur : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas greetings
  • Halls of Ivy - a lament :: Poem
  • Remembering Jesus- A lonely 'Carpenter'..
  • Beauty oils: The solution for dry winter skin
  • Of Manipur and HM visits
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukhrambam Narjit : Asangbi Sanagi Medal
  • Community health work is work
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #1
  • What are friends for ?
  • Discontinuation of Traditional Elopement
  • Christmas Traditions :: Book
  • Lessons from COVID-19: Universal healthcare
  • Getting bronze medal in drinking
  • Manipur on the way to development
  • Towards Atmanirbhar Cities
  • NSCN (K) in talk mode
  • Still murky news from Manipur University
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #2
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas 2020: Pandemic time Choice
  • Winter woods :: Poem
  • Cultivation practices of Soybean in Manipur
  • Laishram Mema honoured at Mumbai
  • Blow out the old, ring in the new
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #10
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • Yongchak: The Dying Bean in Manipur
  • Economy of using concrete transmission line
  • Careers opportunity in Journalism
  • The reality: Virus is still out there
  • Are we in the right direction
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi at JNMDA #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • 84 yrs recovers from C0VID-19 at Ukhrul
  • Azolla : A potential biofertiliser for rice
  • Rice water for winter beauty
  • Boring 2020
  • War on Drugs campaign : Drawing attention
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • CM visit to Senapati: Gallery
  • As the year comes to an end :: Poem
  • This too shall pass
  • A tribute
  • No test for incoming passengers
  • ILMDG's approach to preserve Ariba Pala
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Filmmaker @ 51st Intl Film Fest India
  • Revisiting the life of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • 5 days skill development training program
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 3
  • The art of cleaning the dirt
  • Festive mood in CCpur for Xmas: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Panti Neimei : Prayer for longevity
  • New species of lac insect found in Manipur
  • Community-led approaches pivotal to HIV
  • RIST Talk 47: Photoacoustic signal strength
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 2
  • High profile arrest, high profile acquittal
  • Attracting tourists: post COVID
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #1
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Irang bailey bridge @ Noney : Gallery
  • My Tryst with Preeclampsia, Again!
  • Adieu to a maverick IPS officer
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 1
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
  • Dry but ranks third in the country
  • The dirty game
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #9
  • My mother :: Poem
  • Love who you are !
  • AR organizes Weapon Display for Students
  • COVID-19 highlights virtues of villages
  • From deadlock to 'imposed solution' ?
  • Persons with Disabilities [Dec 15] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • ADR Centres at 5 districts : Gallery
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #1 : Gallery
  • State level Nupi Lan Day : Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba @ Andro #2: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS