Cricket – Killer Of Other Sports




Sports in India

Sports in India

There are quite a majority of people, here in our country, who state that cricket is their religion and that Sachin Tendulkar is their god. I have no qualms against people who say so. But the sad fact is that while cricket thrives in this cricket-frenzy nation of ours, it is also killing all other sports.

Countries like Brazil and Spain, which are considered to be mainly football crazy, have managed to develop other sports as well. Brazil has produced some excellent results in volleyball, basketball and also in individual sports like tennis and motor sport. Spain on the other hand is known to do well in hockey, motorsport, tennis and basketball.

In India though, the situation remains to be bleak for other games and sports. Some individuals have managed to bring a minute interest in a few other sports, but cricket is still the predominant one. Sportsmen like Vishwanathan Anand, Saina Nehwal, Leander Paes, Rathore and Abhinav Bindra, who have conquered the peaks in their respective fields, aren’t celebrated for their commendable feats.

They are almost shunned away by the public. Anand resides in Spain, which the Spaniards consider to be an honour, while he is disregarded by his own countrymen. Cricketers on the other hand, are treated as equals with movie stars and celebrities, earning as much money and media attention.

Many who have interest in any other sports face some hindrances from the ones who worship cricket. Let me illustrate this with an experience of my own. I play football with some friends in a university ground. In addition to the obvious cricket grounds, there are a couple of football fields and a hockey too.

The football field is perennially occupied by cricketers, never mind the cricket pitch. Us footballers try and squeeze our game into the comparatively smaller hockey ground. More cricketers arrive intending to encroach upon this field as well. They make nonsensical arguments to “support” their cause. One person argues that the field isn’t for football (thank you sir, but it isn’t intended for cricket either) and another says “we are accustomed to play here”.  We settle to play for half an hour and leave.

Apparently, those people who choose not to watch the cricket World Cup are not patriotic.

While cricket stadia in the country are well looked after and tended to, the stadia of other sports remain to be neglected and many are in pathetic conditions. What’s more? The commercial backing up of cricket only makes matters worse.

A few youngsters of the new generation have managed to escape this ritual of being cricket fans by birth. General interest in global sports like tennis and football has been rising slowly. This is definitely a good omen and it should be hoped that this trend continues.

I am in no way denouncing cricket. I have no problem with cricket being the most popular sport, but it has to be made sure that other sports are not neglected and the sad situation of these other sports has to be rectified (because however shocking it might be, there is a minority who don’t watch/follow cricket).

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