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India@75 Sports Legends: Chuni Goswami - The Jack of Cricket, Master of Football

India has been independent for 75 years now, as it celebrates the memorable landmark. On this particular occasion, we honour India's sporting legends. Here, we celebrate Chuni Goswami.

India at 75 Sports Legends: Chuni Goswami - The Jack of Cricket, Master of Football-ayh
Kolkata, First Published Aug 15, 2022, 12:00 PM IST

As India celebrates its 75 years of independence, it is also worth celebrating its legendary sportspersons. India has produced legends all across sports, even in football. One of India's footballing legends was Chuni Goswami, who mastered the sport most brilliantly, while he gave the nation a recognisable success.

Born in Kishoreganj, West Bengal, in 1938, it was in 1946 when Goswami began his youth football career with Mohun Bagan football club at the age of just eight. Although he was a good talent, it was only after eight years that he made his senior team debut, as he had vastly mastered the sport by then. He played as a striker and scored numerous goals for the club till his retirement in 1968, while he also helped the side win innumerable accolades.

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A couple of years after his debut for Bagan, Goswami made it to the Indian team. He scored nine goals in 30 matches until 1964, scoring against Burma, Hong Kong, Iran, Thailand, South Vietnam and Cambodia. He also helped the side win the gold during the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games (AG), while he also guided the side into the final of the 1964 AFC Asian Cup, where it finished as the runner-up.

However, while Goswami retired from football in 1962, he decided to try his luck in cricket. He made his debut for Bengal as an all-rounder and played 46 First-Class (FC) matches. Interestingly, he had decent numbers in both departments. With the bat, he scored 1,592 runs at an average of 28.42, including a ton and seven half-centuries, with his top score being 103.

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As a pacer, Goswami claimed 47 wickets at an average of 24.08, including a fifer, while his best figure happens to be 5/47. He was also a decent fielder, having held on to 40 catches. He played the Ranji Trophy final on a couple of instances, losing to Mumbai on both occasions. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to represent India, but he did retire as a legend in football and an icon in cricket.

Below are some of the awards that were bestowed upon Goswami:
Best Striker of Asia Award - 1962
Arjuna Award - 1963
Padma Shri Award - 1983
Mohan Bagan Ratna - 2005

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