Thursday, August 04, 2005

Indain Cricket-Good for other sports

Indain Cricket-Good for other sports
Te recent performance of our over-hyped, over-rated cricket team has generated a big cry from enthusiastic fans. Every conversation, be it in a crowded local train, restaurant or coffee-breaks revolves around this subject. There is a big disappointment about the whole thing. And drawing the most flak from public is our Captain Ganguly. Whatever the situation, or whoever to be blamed, I am glad that at last, our team is where they are deserved to be. At a lowly spot of 7 where the total number of countries that features in the list is a mere 11 as per latest ODI rankings of ICC. They were world beaters once. But now they are just a bunch of chokers. The only thing is still intact in our team is the egos of our cricketers. They still carry that inflated egos despite all the humiliating deafeats our team is subjected to. Despite all the beatings we take, they still sports that arrogant, devil-may-care attitude, which is annoying the most. I have recently spoke to about a 75 people, coming from different back-ground are were a die-hard fans. About 64 % of these WERE hard-core cricket fanatics, now turning attention to other spectator friendly sports like F1, tennis mainly because two Indians are involved in this, or watch interesting cricket like the current Ashes series. 36% are still what they were, watching cricket matches as they used to when India was performing big-time.
The recent slump in our cricketing fortunes is in fact a good thing, as I see it. If trends are anything to go by, the long-forgotten, long-neglected sports are fast catching up and if the cricketers continue their Good show for other sports they will be the new national interest in near future. Take the case of Khel Ratna awards this year and not a single cricketer made the cut. A Narain Karthikeyan and a Sania Mirza is catching more eye balls than a Sachin Tendulkar or Saurav Ganguly. These Overly-pampered, the self-proclaimed demy-god cricketers are facing the grim reality of being dethroned from their ivory towers. Another gleaming example is a particular Major Rajyawardhan Sing who won a Olympic silver medal in Shooting. He is a true national hero in every sense of the word. Anju Bobby George, the long jumper won many hearts. Gone are the days when corporates are jumping for cricketers as their brand ambassadors and looking for alternatives. Reports suggest that the same corporates who were reluctant to sponsor Narain Karthikeyan when he was looking for a seat in F1, now pumped up $19 Million to sponsor him. Only Hokey remains in the backyard now, but if the present administration is very adamant that it would never allow hokey to come forward and flourish by their dictator-like ruling and nefarious selection policies.
BCCI, the controlling body of Cricket in India has done everything possible to speed up the demise of cricket in India. Ridden by crippling factionalism, they are more interested in raking in money even if it is at the cost of national interest. They even went to the extent of declaring in a Court of Law that the cricketers represent not the Country, but the board. I guess if that’s the case, we shouldn’t worry about our teams plummeting ratings. They are just a club, and therefore, doesn’t represent our nation. And they don’t have time for administration of the game. One Big patriarch at the head, even though in the shadows, controls the show by pulling the strings of a puppet President. They can’t even arrange preparatory camps before they embark on a tour, as was the case in the recently started Zimbabwe tour. Most of their time is spend in courts, defending themselves against various cases regarding Television right. The ineptitude of them leads to many legal tussles which was otherwise avoidable.
These are good signs that the nation is coming out the iron-like grip of cricket, the colonized mentality of ours, and are concentrating more on other true sportspersons. The true professionals, who sacrifice their family life, their other interests in order to pursue the greater height await them and our country. The professionalism of our Cricket captain is such that, he came to the tour party late in the evening, so that he can celebrate his wife’s birth day bash, when the coach asked them to report In the morning.
So move over the Tendulkars and Gangulys, other true sportspersons are here. Hats off, Narain, Mirza and others. Keep on the good show. The nation is behind you.

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