And as the ball hit the boundary, a huge uproar awakened and people surged into the grounds of the lords with the Indian tricolor being waved gallantly…India had just won the 1983 cricket world championships. The sport which anyone today relates India to is cricket. Cricket is the life of so many and brings alive a spirit for the game like no other. People abroad many a time confuse cricket to be the national game of India and not hockey. The sad part of the story is…for the Indian scenario on sports…all the jive and the balloons end in cricket.
The second most loved game in India is supposed to be Football (Soccer), but we never seem to have made it anywhere in the international scenario. Tennis with the duo and Sania Mirza also used to make the news but now however seems to slow down a bit. A few parts where one could be delighted, is on the fact that we occasionally bring a medal or maybe two from the Olympics. The recent shooting and boxing victories have been much cherished and celebrated living up to the Indian reputation of festive and pomp.
There are young people active in a large array of sports and this is simply undeniable, be it hockey – the national game of India or be it swimming, there are players on the peak and trying their best. Consistency is perhaps an important issue which has to be dealt in Indian sports. Players face problems such as funding, support, facilities and infrastructure support and so many others including the large lump of politics in the arena of sports. It’s so sick to see politics enter into every aspect of Indian life and sports are, of course, another area not left untouched.
However, sports culture is something very active in schools and college cultures and this is, I believe, a very encouraging aspect of the educative society as students do get the opportunity to be a part of numerous sporting initiatives and events. Going back to cricket, it is becoming the most powerful commercial sport in India. The Cricket Merchandise market in India is worth billions of rupees and cricket players today are more of “stars” than actually players. The formation of the cricket leagues in India is the next big part of the story. I sometimes call it as the biggest “Wanna be” League but at the same time I guess it’s quite a start towards somewhere and I really don’t know where.
I believe Indian sports and sporting potential is far greater than what is being displayed at the moment. I also believe we need to seriously set our priorities and start progressively looking forward and working towards acquiring more Olympic medals in the future and also open an account at the Winter Olympics. The stagnated government supported sport associations and councils must be revamped and shook to get up and actually do something useful. The delightful part, however, in India, is that games and sports is something that is of a value of heritage to all of us and no matter what children will play and the games will go on and in the middle of it all there will be the ball that hits the floor and rises back.