Hockey Year Book 2008, the 7th in the series, was released on February 2 during the Punjab Gold Cup, amidst a galaxy of present and former hockey players and coaches.
Delhi based hockey chronicler K. Arumugam has been authoring and publishing hockey year books since 1995. This is indeed a labour of love - for the first two editions of the Yearbook, Arumugam did not get even a single sponsor, and had to bear all publishing costs out of his own pocket.
Speaking on the occasion, national selector and former Olympian Aslam Sher Khan said that the author's contribution in terms of articles, books and website is on par with any player's toil on the field.
National coach Harendira Singh said: "The book is full of vital information on hockey. Coaches can meet about 25 percent of their data need from this compilation. Not just hockey fraternity, this book has reached other frontiers as well".
Indian team manager Col. Balbir Singh, coach Ramandeep Singh and Sukhvir Singh Grewal too graced the occasion.
Author and publisher of 11 books on hockey, 51-year-old Arumugam thanked the august gathering assembled on the dais. He said, "In order to popularise the hockey year book, I make it a point to release each yearbook book in a different city. Last time, the book was released in Bangalore, before that in New Delhi. I am pleased to release the 2008 Yea Book here in Chandigarh, a bastion of hockey in India."
Chak De India's lyricist and script writer Jaideep Sahni has given a foreword for the book, where he mentions as follows: "For years the Hockey Yearbook has been the chronicler, fact-keeper and historian to the amazing world of field hockey. The various Year Books touched our work and research during the making of Chak De! India in more ways can be simply told."
The book is hardcover, 176-pages, contains 235 images, and costs Rs. 400. The book covers tournaments and events over 2007 and 2008, and has the following seven chapters:
International Review: All the international engagements that India had in 2007 and 2008, both men and women, including juniors.
Hockey in Numbers: Statistics of tournaments, teams and scorers.
Players: Player profiles, goals scored etc. Retired players find a mention, while debut makers get special mention.
Mind Matters: Interviews of personalities who mattered in the years in questions, and 4 book reviews make up this section
Azlan Shah Cup: History of the competition, with an eye catching portrait of Azlan Shah himself.
Domestic Scene: A painstaking work. Not just about tournaments and events, but also what transpired after India failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
Special Feature: Here, one can journey deep into the people and processes that went into making of the greatest hockey film ever made - Chak De! India.