No Sport can ever match Cricket – Indian Perspective
What makes cricket a success story?
Reports suggest that the majority of Indian kids prefer to play cricket despite of other sports. Question arises here that, what and how this happened? Many wishes to be become like Sachin Tendulkar, or Virat Kohli, some want to blast like Rohit and Yuraj Sing. It is really childish to associate one sport with other. But the case is that cricket has produced superstars who have seized prevalent imagination with their performances and media coverage, so much so that the strugglers even find themselves superior to those who are associated with other sports.
Cricket’s growth as a nation-uniting game hasn’t happened overnight. The Indian team’s surprising victory resulted in incessant policy, the tv’s reach ensuring that everybody got to watch the famous Balwinder Sandhu delivery which castled Gordon Greenidge or Kapil Dev’s running catch to discount Vivian Richards per 100 times, and more. Courtesy one-day cricket’s capacity to meet those who did not have the patience to sit five-dayers, along with the press’s coverage of the World Cup succeed in every conceivable manner, cricketers became common proper nouns for those who weren’t diehard followers of this game before.
If compared, you are not required to be a hockey fanatical to know that the game’s management is in a chaos. Indeed, it has been in a mess for quite some time. Despite of being considered as the national sports of India, Hockey is highly disputable, unlike, say, peacock, whose identity as our national bird is beyond questioning. Whether or not some agree, cricket is the king of Indian sports, a Sachin Tendulkar having more devotees in hamlets than a Rajpal Singh in the biggest of cities.
Limited are familiar with the name of Valmiki Y. till Hockey India made a terrible blunder. In what is well known by now, an award of Indian Rs.25K was reserved for the winners of Asian Trophy. What can be a more worse insult to players then this one. Consequently, the players rejected the worthless reward, following which the Sports Ministry and some state governments endeavoured to do damage control by offering reasonably decent cash prizes. It was during the course of such frantic fire-fighting that many heard of the ‘other’ Yuvraj, who is among the most talented hockey players the nation currently has.
Is that the reality? Yes. Is that fair?
No. For, sports persons with dazzling accomplishments — be it Abhinav Bindra in shooting, or the untiring and reunited tennis-playing duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi — are all accustomed to getting eclipsed in a cricket-obsessed India. Vishwanathan Anand could be among the best chess players in today’s era. But, with cricketers hogging all of the media room, Anand’s popularity in many nations exceeds his recognition in India. What a Leander or an Anand can be somewhat happy with is that they have made money: in fact, their earnings through the game alone surpasses what many cricketers make through advertisements and theirs. But that isn’t the case with players of many different types of sport, who struggle to meet their ends meet and continue to reside in barbaric neglect.
Cricket had been the largest Indian sport before the development of visual media. However, the latter made its own bastion absolutely impregnable. Lalit Modi is still another person who left a defining shift to the popularity of cricket. Though his image has been tarnished today, Modi took the game to the kingdom of pure amusement through T20. Purists appeared just like they had when one-dayers came to being. However, T20’s boom-blast-bang formula led to several new devotees who didn’t give a damn to the critics’ contempt-laden view of this match’s shortened, strategy-less, bowler-killing version.
Cricket has grown due to great strategizing. Almost 10 years ago IPL was launched. In contrast if we look at the biggest rival of India, PSL (Pakistan Super League) was launched almost 7 years of IPL. What cricket was commercialising, India took the 1st step towards formation of the league and established a Multi-Billion business. Looking at other leagues e.g. PSL, BBL, BPL, CPL, SPL etc, PSL is the youngest and IPL standing at top as IPL will be experiencing season 11 whereas PSL 2018 will be the 3rd edition of PSL. As cricket climbed, other forms of game became increasingly obscure.
The sport gave rise to random celebrity-hood, while protagonists of different forms of sport required to be unbelievably lucky to get one or two ads. An instance in point is Bhaichung Bhutia, a soccer player whose abilities surpassed his mediocre football-playing counterparts in India. Bhutia wasn’t a participant of global course by any yardstick of ruling: when we don’t choose to believe his insignificant stint with a second-rate English club was a testimony of bliss. However he had a little that X factor, which gave him a bit of prominence beyond the soccer field.
From the afternoon when Kapil Dev smiled a 32-all-out smile in an ad, Stating Palmolive da jawab nahi, cricket has come quite a ways. The media’s nonstop support — that the balance has been extremely unfair, but media homes are guided by what people want — has taken cricket players into a degree where their sole rival is Bollywood. Why have a lot of advertisers come in the picture? Straightforward. Advertisers do not invest in persons, no matter how brilliant they might be. They invest in personalities created out of persons by an over-attentive media.
Today, if you smash into an ordinary sports lover and ask who Mary Kom is, the response might well be: Mary kaun? If the response surprise you, then you aren’t an Indian’s disastrous mistake. The players refused the paltry reward, following that the Sports Ministry and a few state authorities endeavoured to perform damage control by providing reasonably good money prizes. It was during the course of these frenzied fire-fighting that lots of heard of the ‘additional’ Yuvraj, who is one of the most talented hockey players the nation now has.