Spinner Harbhajan Singh on Monday condoled the demise of veteran hockey player Balbir Singh and said that the legend has to be one of the greatest sporting icons in India.
"A doyen of Indian sports Shri Balbir Singh Senior is no more. When you look back at his achievements, you just remain awestruck, 3 Olympic gold medals, five goals in the Olympic final. Manager of the World Cup-winning team, Possibly among India's greatest sporting icons. May his soul rest RIP," Harbhajan tweeted.
Sprinter PT Usha also expressed condolences on the demise of Balbir Singh and said that the hockey legend was an athlete par excellence.
"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Balbir Singh Sr Ji. An athlete par excellence and a role model beyond words! His bestowed hands may strengthen my passions more. My condolences to his family, friends, and fans!#balbirsingh #Balbirhockey," PT Usha tweeted.
"Rest in Peace to one of the GREATEST and LEGENDARY player of all time Padam Shri Balbir Singh Senior ji - you will live forever in our heart," current men's hockey captain Manpreet Singh tweeted.
The veteran hockey player had suffered a cardiac arrest on May 12 and after that, he suffered two more cardiac arrests during the course of his admission in the hospital.
"Balbir Singh passed away this morning," his grandson Kabir said in a statement on Monday.
Balbir Singh was a three-time Olympic gold champion. He played a key role in India's Olympic victories in London (1948), as a vice-captain in Helsinki (1952) and as the captain in Melbourne (1956).
In his illustrious playing career from 1947-1958, Balbir Sr. won 61 international caps and scored a whopping 246 goals. He was also the manager of the 1975 World Cup-winning team. (ANI)