As a nation, are we corrupt? Are we inadvertently destroying all of our other sports and games with the monopoly cricket mania?
Sports commentators and others are asking again this recurring question in the context of India’s bid to host the Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj Chopra’s impressive gold medal and bronze medal for men’s hockey team were hailed as “historic,” and indeed it is: Neeraj is the first Indian to win a medal in lightweight athletics and a hockey victory. I arrived after 41 years.
Small countries in size and population compared to the sheer size of India, such as Jamaica, Cuba and the microscopic San Marino with only 33,000 citizens, regularly outperform India in the Games.
Why, with the advantage of a potential pool of 1.4 billion people, are we doing poorly internationally in most forms of sport? And the answer seems to be that all our energies are focused, with laser-like intensity, on cricket alone.
Perhaps the stars of the shining cricket sky are more glamorous than the stars of the Bollywood galaxy, and this other great Indian passion, the astronomical sums that cricketers control exceed those of our iconic film icons.
With its alluring aura of fame and fortune, cricket attracts talent and patronage that disproportionately outperform all other sports combined. It is like the canopy of a giant banyan tree that does not allow anything else to grow in its covered shade.
The irony of it all is that many, if not most, cricket fans are largely unaware of the game’s finer points. outgoing girl? Which is? Promote IPL? Is the bride sent from here to the groom with a green card in the US? Half an idiot? Is he a silly comic who tells off-color jokes?
Don’t let cricket take center stage at the expense of all other sports. Regardless of everything, this is not just cricket…
This article aims to bring a smile to your face. Any association with real-life events and characters is coincidental.
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