As M.S. Dhoni hit the six that clinched India the ICC Cricket World Cup, you could feel the joy all around. People screaming, firecrackers exploding…we had done it! We became the first-ever nation to host the World Cup & win it too. But at the same time, there were many people, myself included, who were happy at this feat but who also felt a bit of relief. The World Cup being over, we could now focus on the EPL matches that were taking place, although cricket would make a comeback with the glitz and glamour of the IPL only 6 days later.
What one can fathom from the above is that there are many people who are nowadays watching (and enjoying) sports other than cricket. And I notice that this phenomena is far more dominant in the youth of our nation, as our elders either don’t watch sports or the one’s who do mostly watch cricket. Football, Tennis, Formula One, Basketball, even Badminton are being religiously followed. Proof of the above exists on social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter, wherein the netizens are continuously arguing over whether Nadal is greater than Federer, whether Chelsea or Manchester United will clinch the Premier League, whether the Top 3 of the Miami Heat will get the job done in the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks, and so on. There were even a few interesting things people had to say about the “skirt-only” rule brought about by the BWF for women badminton players!
If this isn’t enough, we see plenty of people wearing NBA and EPL merchandise, most of them being extremely knowledgeable about the sports, and who wear the merchandise to show their support. And this phenomena is clearly being recognized, as in October 2011, Delhi will host the 1st ever Indian GP. The new coach of the national basketball team has coached LeBron James, and Sunil Chhetri has played football in the American football league (known as Major League Soccer or MLS) representing the Kansas City Wizards.
But this is only the first step. A lot of work has to be done at the ground level, and this can only be accomplished when our government stops producing sporting scams like in the CWG, but realizes that the youth today has interests, and works to fulfill these interests by improving our sports infrastructure, which we know is in dire straits. If we start now, there might come a day when India hosts the FIFA World Cup or when our own footballers are stars at Manchester United and Chelsea; the day might finally come when cricket isn’t the only sport that is the pride of our nation, but just one of several things that makes us proud to be Indian.
The author is a person of many interests, which include watching a lot of sports, listening to lots of music and blogging. He is pretty aware of what is happening around him and is an avid debator. He has taken part in inter-school competitions even at the national level. He also enjoys watching movies and American shows like Castle, How I Met Your Mother etc.