Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cricket - domineering all other Sports in India


Can you name the Captain of the Indian Hockey Team in the recently concluded London Olympics ?

Sachin Tendulkar is the most famous sporting icon of the Nation.  With 100 centuries in International Cricket and close to 34000 runs, he has reached the summit of Cricket.  Few months back he was nominated to Rajya Sabha and became a Member of Parliament.  Many have been recommending the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to him.

Can you immediately think of somebody more popular sports icon today - cannot be somebody away from the Sport of Cricket  –  and that could well be the man from Ranchi, born in 1981, the present Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.  He is the man who led India to victory in T20 WC in 2007 and World Cup 2011 – the 50 over format.  The whole Nation is looking forward to a repeat performance in the ongoing T20 International too. 

The game of Cricket is no doubt fascinating but in a cricket crazy Nation, other sports are not getting their due recognition is a sad fact.  This year was good for us in Olympics but still we need to have more players qualifying and competing in many other events. That will happen only when the Nation provides them encouragement, solid financial support, better infrastructure, quality coaching, good equipments and more. 

In the recently concluded Summer Olympics in London, a  total of 83 athletes, 60 men and 23 women, competed in 13 sports.  How many of them are known to us ?  This was India's most successful Olympics based on the medal standings, winning a total of 6 medals (2 silver and 4 bronze), and doubling the nation's overall record in Beijing.   Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang [shooting]; Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt [wresting], Saina Nehwal [Badminton] and Mary Kom [Boxing] made us proud by winning individual medals.  The Nation needs to support such athletes more.

Field Hockey is our National game – that we are not doing well is another area of concern.  But how many of us know of the man who captained India in Hockey in London Olympics ?  It was  Bharat Chettri hailing from Darjeeling.   

There are other great performers like Viswanathan Anand, the current World Champion in Chess.  Anand has won the World Chess Championship five times  and has been the undisputed World Champion since 2007.  Still he may not get the instant recognition that a cricketer gets.

It is everybody’s duty to develop all forms of Sports which will help the Nation transform to gain more medals in International arena.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

PS : if you are wondering why such an article from an ardent cricket fan – something made out for my son for his school competition on ‘Cricket domineering other sports’.

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