What happened to the other sports?

3:05:00 PM

Hi All,

Let’s be honest...we are primarily a one sport nation. We virtually eat, sleep and breathe cricket. [And many other un mentionable actions...:)] It seems that if you are born Indian then your default sport is cricket. Your sports icon is Tendulkar and sports entertainment means watching cricket in channels dedicated for cricket!

So where did all the other sports go? Just offhand any one of us can probably count 5 other sports which are so popular globally but are barely included even in small talk in India. So why is cricket so disproportionately popular? Who is to blame for this anomaly? And more importantly how can we rectify this lopsidedness?

As for apportioning blame, I guess it has to be shared among various sections. The administrators of various sports who haven’t really been aggressive in promoting their respective sports, the viewers who simply refuse to even temporarily shift loyalties to other sports and even to some extent history! The British Raj left a long lasting impact on us in the form of cricket.

Before proceeding further, I wish to reiterate that I am making a conscious effort to follow different sports. These days’ hockey and tennis are regulars in my sporting menu. I am also anxiously waiting for the world cup in SA later this year. [Now I won’t have hypocrite tags thrown at me...:)] Regarding the question of making other sports popular, I was thinking we must incentivise patronage. So prizes, money and possible fame will lead our masses to new sports. Government support for non cricketing sports will also help.

I am sure you must have heard about 2 new teams which are going to be added to IPL 4. What might(actually must) have shocked you more is the staggering amount of money the winning groups are willing to pay to own these teams. The IPL mopped up more than 3000 Crore Rupees for the 2 newly auctioned teams. [Wow...how many poor kids can that amount of money educate/feed/clothe....anyways let’s leave that discussion for another day...I wanted to focus primarily on sports in this post...]

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