In India, is Cricket the lone Survivor?

As an avid fan of cricket, sometimes I am happy with the situation India is, financially and hence are able to build an ever -evolving cricket team, that competes well abroad as well as at home. Apart from occasional debacles (like losing a series to home, or early exit at premier tournaments), our team has done well, this includes Women’s cricket team as well.

Its a welcome note to have included women’s cricket as a part of ICC and in India, BCCI finally managed to take it under its reins. Its something good for the game of cricket in the years to come. Now cricket has reached a stage, it has plans of being an Olympic Sport in 2020 or 2024. Its a great step. Trust me, an Olympic Sport always get recognised worldwide and it is one of the best ways to promote the game on global scale. Knowing IOC, its a challenge to change their Euro-centric views about cricket and its reception by other member nations.

In India, we have IPL and ICL entangled in legal battles. Its sad, but this also brings to an important point. Cant we ensure, other games like hockey, football, basketball etc be promoted in franchise model. I know, boxing is being under consideration and the two bronze medals at Beijing, is a positive result and will see more people support Boxing in the coming years.

In India, Economy and social life are often associated with the way Indiviual Sports have shaped up. At present we have to admit, we dont have a culture for Hockey or football. People play cricket instead. Its not lack of players who are willing to play Hockey, its the case of people who opt cricket. Same is with football or other Sports in India. The surroundings and social structure have played a big role. And this has an impact on economics of Sports. We are a nation of billion people, few people can give us hope but cannot change the current situation.

Few years back, PHL (Premier Hockey League) kicked off in a grand fashion and this was even before the idea of IPL (Indian Premier League) or ICL (Indian Cricket League) got materialised.
It ran for three years before it lost its charm. Why? A lot of reasons. I am not going into that aspect.
Now, instead of spending millions of dollars on ex-cricketers, current cricketers, future stars, the ever continuing legal battles with BCCI, why dont Zee Sports (idea behind ICL) look to terminate the idea about making money through cricket. It was a great idea, but sadly we have a powerhouse in BCCI. Why fight?

If Zee Sport’s aim is to create athletes in the form of cricketers, why dont they focus on athletes who are non-cricketers, who needs media attention, who needs funding where in they feel good and perform. Why dont they create an even playing ground for other sports?

If I were to be Subhash Chandra, I would utilise this opportunity to look at hockey, football and other Sports and create a social culture in which other athletes can become champions and help Public accepting other sports by creating a scenario where games can stand on its own merit not just for sympathy reasons.

Its a win-win situation in the long term. India as a Sports Nation can benefit, corporates can look for alternatives, if they find cricket to be an expensive way of advertising. And finally, Zee can win so-called ‘personal battle’ with BCCI. Leave cricket to BCCI, they are doing good job of it. Concentrate on other sports.

Reality is, I am not Subhash Chandra and I am just expressing my thoughts as an extension of various discussions on the state of Olympic Sports in India with other students from different parts of the world in the Olympic Capital.

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