Friday, September 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Jugraj Singh’s condition stable
Anil Datt

Dhanraj Pillay, captain of the Indian hockey team, with injured hockey star Jugraj Singh
Dhanraj Pillay, captain of the Indian hockey team, with injured hockey star Jugraj Singh at Ludhiana on Wednesday. — A Tribune photo

Ludhiana, September 4
Dhanraj Pillay, captain of the Indian team who came here last night to inquire about hockey star and penalty corner specialist Jugraj Singh who suffered multiple fractures in a car accident on the outskirts of Jalandhar on Tuesday night, said India would certainly miss him during the forthcoming Asia Cup and the Afro-Asian Games. Jugraj who proved his mettle in the Champions Trophy in Holland, is reported to be in a stable condition after the operation. He further said he himself was stunned to see Jugraj’s ability in ball control and defence which motivated him (Pillay) also and forced him to play better.

Mr Vijay Goel, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports visited the hospital today and wished Jugraj a speedy recovery. He remained with Jugraj for about 10 minutes. The minister, in the visitor’s book remarked ‘Yug-Yug Jeeo Jugraj’. He was accompanied by M.P. Ganesh who led India in 1973 World Cup and is posted as Director NIS, Bangalore.

Later, talking to the media persons, Mr Goel said he met Jugraj and conveyed to him the best wishes sent by the Prime Minister and lakhs of sports fans. He said Jugraj was in high spirits and wanted to be fit soon for the future tournaments.

The minister announced that the Sports Ministry would bear all the medical expenses of the hockey star. He further said that the game of hockey was becoming popular with the people due to some extraordinary performance by the youngsters.

Mr Goel said Jugraj was getting the best possible medical treatment at the local hospital and if the panel of doctors attending on him suggested engaging some other ortho specialist and physiotherapists in the country and abroad, the government would not hestitate to arrange the same.

Hockey seems to be flowing in his blood. His cousin, Rajbir Kaur, an Arjuna awardee, represented Indian women’s hockey team for four consecutive Asian games in 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994. Probably he picked up the stick from his sister and started playing hockey at Rayya in Amritsar district. His impressive ability in the game led to his joining the Surjit Hockey Academy, Jalandhar. From there he joined the Speed Fund Academy, Ludhiana, run by Punjab Sports Department to train young budding players for the future international tournaments.

In 2001, Jugraj Singh, posted at Jalandhar as Inspector with the Punjab Police, was named the captain of the Indian hockey team (junior) for the Seven-Nation Hockey Tournament at Ipoh, Malaysia, where Jugraj led from the front to help his team emerge as the champions. In that tournament, Jugraj scored as many as 16 goals which included a-double hat-trick and was declared the ‘player of the tournament’. In the final, India demolished South Korea 7-1, thanks to a hat-trick by Jugraj.

The selectors for the senior team were so impressed with Jugraj’s game that they picked him for the Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament at Kuala Lumpur and again, Jugraj gave a stupendous performance. He, then represented India in the Junior World Cup and in the final, India overwhelmed Argentina 6-1 to clinch the title.

Full back and short corner specialist, Jugraj Singh participated in the Busan Asian Games last year and in the final against hosts South Korea, he scored two goals.

Jugraj was also the member of the national team that played in the World Cup at Kuala Lumpur in 2002 and came out with flying colours though India finished at the fifth spot. He represented India in the Champions Trophy at Colgne last year and at Amstelveen last month. In the recently held tournament, Jugraj scored five goals including two goals against Pakistan as India won 7-4. He was also instrumental in two other goals in this match.

The prominent persons who called on Jugraj were Ajitpal Singh who had led Indian hockey team to the title win in the 1975 World Cup and former Olympian Pargat Singh. Pargat said Jugraj had proved his class and the nation would miss his services.

Rajinder Singh, coach of the Indian team who visited the hospital today, compared Jugraj Singh with world class penalty corner specialists, like Bovelander and Sohail Abbas.


President talks to Jugraj
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 4
President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam today inquired about the welfare of the injured hockey star Jugraj Singh who is admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here. The President who was on a visit to Ludhiana today, talked to Jugraj Singh over the telephone.

The President first called up Jugraj’s father, Mr Harjinder Singh and asked about his health. Subsequently, the President talked to Jugraj also and wished him an early and speedy recovery. Dr Kalam said the nation wanted to see Jugraj in action soon.

Mr Harjinder Singh expressed his gratitude to the President for his noble gesture.


Govt support reassured
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 4
Jugraj Singh was assured of government support by former Sports Minister S.S. Dhindsa today, who also wished him a speedy recovery.

The 20-year-old Jugraj is undergoing treatment in a Ludhiana hospital for multiple fractures sustained in a crash on Tuesday.

“I will visit him (Jugraj) soon and I want to reassure Jugraj’s family that if needed, the best treatment would be made available from anywhere,” Mr Dhindsa, the Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister, said while expressing concern over the budding star’s injury.

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