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223. Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal (born June 20, 1956) is an Indian field hockey player. He wore Indian blue jersey number 11.

Professional career

Iqbal was a member of the 1980 Summer Olympics field hockey team that won the last Olympic Gold Medal for India. He has captained Indian squad in various international events, among them being Asian Games, in 1982 and 1983 Champions Trophy, and the 1984 Summer Olympics. Iqbal is remembered for a strong attack as well as for missing a goal, in front of an open goal against West Germany, that would have placed India a semifinal spot in the 1984 Olympics.

Iqbal was awarded the Arjuna Award, the highest award given in sports by India. He has served as Chief National Coach for Indian hockey from early 1993 to October 1994. Iqbal currently works as manager for Indian Airlines and is a National selector for Indian hockey team.

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Zafar Iqbal is a known name in the field of sports, as captain of the 1980 summer Olympics field hockey team that won the last Olympic Gold Medal for India. Iqbal is also remembered for a strong attack and for his flick stroke which he used to play at his left in position on the ground.
A civil engineer by profession, Iqbal comes from a learned family. He is currently residing in Kaushambi for the past one and a half years and dreams of developing a sports club in Kaushambi.

He started playing hockey, when he was a student in Aligarh. Iqbal said, "I used to play all sports like cricket, hockey, football, etc. But I used to play football a lot.
We had only two things to do at that time, either to play or study."
Zafar used to have a very hectic schedule those days but he worked hard and never complained. He practised around four to five hours a day which repaid him later in his life. He was the captain of the school team and later the college and Indian hockey team.

Zafar Iqbal was highly inspired and thankful to his professor, Zillur Rehman Khan for whatever he had achieved in his life."He taught physics and helped me to play hockey. He saw my game and under his guidance I got selected in the combined university team," he said.Later when he was in fourth year of his engineering college, he was selected to represent India.

He wore Indian Blue Jersey number 11 and has captained Indian squad at various international events.
Among them being Asian Games in 1982, 1983 Champions Trophy and the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Iqbal was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1983 the highest award given in sports in India. He has served as chief national coach for Indian hockey team from early 1993 to 1994. He was also a government observer and selector for the recently held Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

Other Interests
At the age of 54, Iqbal currently works as a general manager for Indian Airlines.
Iqbal likes to hear ghazals and qawwali.  He does not believe in watching television serials. Rather, he tries to catch knowledge-based programmes on TV.

Life in Kaushambi
Iqbal said, "Life here is different. Heavy traffic becomes a cause for concern at times.
There is also a vacant land which has been lying useless for several years, so we are now planning to develop a sports club on it." Zafar wants to thank his first coach Swami Jagannath for his guidance who was also the manager of 1936 Olympics. He said, "He taught me Left hit and was a very nice person. He gave me tips which were very crucial and important that provided me ample of confidence in my game."

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