It’s always so special to represent the national team, even though sports dynasties within the same sport are a rare phenomenon. For members of the same family, representing India at international level in different sports is perhaps even more unusual. Rhythm thrower Raj Angad Bawa will be one of those favored now. Bawa has been named in India’s squad which will face South Africa at the U-19 World Cup on Saturday. He is not the first of his family to compete for India. His grandfather Tarlochan Bawa was a key member of the Indian hockey team that won gold at the 1948 Olympics – the first for a newly independent country. We look at a few more instances of this select group:
Tarlochan Bawa (grandfather, hockey) and Raj Angad Bawa (grandson, cricket)
Tarlochan Bawa was a member of the Indian hockey team that competed in the 1948 Olympics. He scored two goals in the tournament – the most memorable, the final goal which sealed a 4-0 victory over Great Britain in the of the gold medal match at Wembley Stadium. The grandson Raj Angad has played four games for the Indian U-19 team. A quick and versatile bowler, he has a batting average of 45.50 and took eight wickets at an average of 21.37.
Ramana PV (father, volleyball) and Sindhu PV (daughter, badminton)
One of only two individual athletes to win two Olympic medals – badminton player PV Sindhu is already arguably India’s greatest Olympian. His father was himself a top athlete. He was part of the bronze medal winning team at the 1986 Asian Games – the last time an Indian volleyball team won a medal at the Asian Games. He received the Arjuna Award in 2000 and when Sindhu received the same award in 2013, they became the first father-daughter couple to receive the country’s iconic award for athletic excellence.
Milkha Singh (father, athletics) and Jeev Milkha Singh (son, golf)
Perhaps India’s finest track athlete, Milkha Singh won several medals at the Asian Games and a gold medal at the 1958 Commonwealth Games. He also represented India at three different Olympics, finishing fourth at the 1960 in Rome. His son, Jeev Milkha Singh, will also have a remarkable sports career. He was the first Indian golfer to take part in the European tour in 1998. He would also win four titles each on the European and Japanese tours and another four on the Asian tour.
Nandu Natekar (father, badminton) and Gaurav Natekar (son, tennis)
Nandu Natekar was one of the first stalwarts of badminton in independent India. A seven-time national champion, he also represented the country internationally at the 1966 Commonwealth Games. A quarter-finalist at the England Championships, he was the first Indian player to win an international title – at the Selangor International Tournament in Malaysia in 1956 – and also the recipient of the Arjuna Award when it was first presented in 1961. His son, tennis player Gaurav Natekar, would also win the same award in 1996. Gaurav was no less an accomplished sportsman, winning two medals in gold at the Asian Games and part of the team that reached the semi-finals of the 1993 Davis Cup.
Vinoo Mankad (Grandfather, Cricket), Ashok Mankad (Son, Cricket), Nirupama Mankad (Daughter-in-Law, Tennis) and Harsh Mankad (Grandson, Tennis)
Mulvantrai “Vinoo” Mankad played 44 Test matches for India and was considered one of the best all-rounders of his era, scoring 2109 runs with a maximum of 231 and claiming 162 wickets with a haul best of 8/52. He would be renowned for several reasons – being one of only three batsmen to hit every position, being part of a record 413-run opening stand, and lending his name to a controversial mode of dismissal. His son, Ashok Mankad, represented India in 22 test matches and married Indian women’s tennis pioneer Nirupama. Nirupama was the first Indian woman to play in the main draw of a grand slam, reaching the second round of mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1971. Her son, Harsh Mankad, would also compete for India in tennis. He represented the Indian team at the Davis Cup between 2001 and 2010 and was also the first Indian after Leander Paes to win an ATP Challenger title when he won the Manchester Challenger title in 2006.
Vece Paes (father, hockey) Jennifer Paes (mother, basketball) and Leander Paes (son, tennis)
Vece and Leander Paes are the only Indian parent-child duo to win an Olympic medal. Vece was part of the Indian hockey team that won bronze at the Munich Olympics in 1972. This medal would be followed 24 years later by another bronze medal, won by Leander in the singles tennis event men at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Leander, who had also competed in the 1992 Olympics, would go on to a record seven Olympics, also reaching the bronze medal game in 2004. Leander’s mother, Jennifer, was also an Olympian, representing the team Indian women’s basketball player who competed in the 1972 Olympics.
Susan Itticheria (mother, cricket) and Dipika Pallikal (daughter, squash)
Susan Itticheria had a short international career for India, representing the women’s cricket team in seven Tests and two ODIs. However, she was still a part of history, taking part in the first-ever test match played by an Indian women’s team against the West Indies in 1976. Her daughter Dipika would represent India in squash. She has won three medals at the Commonwealth Games, including a gold medal in doubles in Glasgow (2014) and four other medals at the Asian Games. She also became the first Indian woman to break into the top 10 of the world squash rankings.