The recently concluded Olympics have been marvelous for India. Although we finished quite low according to the medals per capita criterion but they were indeed our most successful ever. This has put the highlight once again on the way sports are run in our country. Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra rightly commented that sports bodies shouldn’t be run by politicians.
But let us not get into that debate. There is one more issue staring right at our face: Cricket v/s other sports. Whenever we achieve something in sports other than cricket, we always preserve some space for cricket-bashing. Be it media or sports bodies or people, they compare cricketers with these sportspersons and bash them. Cricket is also often held responsible for the degradation of other sports in our country .
Isn’t that missing woods for the trees? Or simply put, isn’t that blaming something successful for your own failures? BCCI is a professionally run body which has a vision to make cricket successful, both as a sport and in monetary terms. But can we say the same about other sports bodies? The way soccer or hockey or boxing or wrestling federations are run in our country, there is no wonder that we lag so far behind. But why do we blame cricket for that? Cricket has nothing to do with these bodies. Then why blame cricket?
May be it has got to do something with our pre-liberalization mindset. We have never liked change or success . We hate achievers and of course, we don’t take responsibilities for our faults . This mindset has deteriorated our sports federations.
Some time back, hockey federation’s vice-president was caught on camera taking bribes. Recently, an athletic coach was accused of sexual assault. We are at 156th position in the world when it comes to soccer. Our hockey team couldn’t qualify for Olympics this year. Should we blame cricket for all this? Yes, people may watch cricket more and play cricket rather than other sports but that is only because BCCI has sold it well. And its not their duty to sell other sports as well. Then why can’t our sports federations pull up their socks? Simply because they have no will power.
Cricketers have a right to live their life their way and they, and in particular cricket, can’t be blamed for the sorry state that our sports are in. According to an estimate, China spent about 4 billion dollars on its sportspersons for this Olympics. How much did we spend?
We need to ask questions .We need to pinpoint the real culprits. Only then we will produce Bindras , Dhyanchands , Vijendars at very nook and corner of our country . And the first step in that? Stop blaming cricket.
[Image source: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41408000/jpg/_41408557_cricket_416.jpg]