Your victory contributes to my good health: When cricket news came from Balbir Singh Sr. MS Dhoni

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CHANDIGARH: His name was synonymous with hockey, but Balbir Singh Sr. was not immune to the allure of India’s favorite sports cricket and once told former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni that “your victory contributes to my good health”.

The 96-year-old Singh, who won three consecutive Olympic gold medals, died in Mohali on Monday.

The match with Dhoni took place four years ago when the Indian team was ahead of their World T20 tie against Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Singh wanted to convey his best wishes to the team before the game.

Dhoni had thanked him and inquired about his health, causing the legend to smile and reply, “Your victory contributes to my good health.”

Singh, then 92, had told PTI, “I came to win my third world title for the team and complete my own golden hat-trick.”

India defeated Australia in the semi-finals before dropping to the West Indies in that edition of the World T20.

India won the World T20 title in 2007 and the 50-over World Cup in 2011.

The hockey icon struggled with multiple health issues and was on life support for over two weeks.

One of the country’s greatest athletes, Singh became the only Indian among the 16 veterans selected by the International Olympic Committee in modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by a man in the Olympic men’s hockey final stands the test of time.

He scored five goals in India’s 6–1 win over the Netherlands in the 1952 Helsinki Games gold medal match.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957 and was also the manager of India’s World Cup winning team in 1975.

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