I knew that it was only a matter time before some joker would start blaming Cricket for the debacle of Hockey.
That Government's more emphasis on Cricket, that media's too much attention towards Cricket, that sponsor's more money for the Cricket, and that public craze for this game is killing other games, apart from Hockey, of course!
What they don't know is that BCCI, like IHF, is not government controlled body. It is a private organisation. Till less than a decade ago, it was almost as bad in functioning as IHF.
Don't put moral burden on the public, they are not going to watch a bunch of pathetic losers, who don't even know where their leg is! A sport itself has to lift itself. They have to win something to attract public eyeballs. Media and sponsors are not here for charity. They ain't doing any favour to Cricket. They are here to make money. If there are no eye balls, they simply don't care.
Anyway, money doesn't improve any game. Winning, or at least passion for winning does. If that was so, why is Pakistan not doing as badly in Hockey? If that was so, why did India do so good 50 years back, when there was no money? If that was so, United States of America would excel in every sport, while Africans would have always done badly in long distance running.
Cricket was doing more badly than Hockey till 1983. In the movie Golmaal
, there was a live Hockey match - not Cricket, remember? Hip Hip Hurray had Football. Not many use to watch Cricket. Why ?
Before the emergence of Sunil Gavaskar, we mostly lost. Then came Kapil Dev and World Cup victory, followed by Champions Trophy. I myself watched it as a 8 year old kid. Meanwhile, India lost miserably at Los Angles Olympics, 1984 in Hockey.
Naturally, I picked up the bat, not Hockey and so did Sachin Tendulkar. Then Reliance World Cup came to India. Why did it come to India ? Because we won the two major championships in succession. There was press coverage everywhere of the tournament. My father got interested, and with double whammy of Ramayana, we bought out first telivision set - a B&W, portable, UPTRON.
Not even then the money came to Cricket. I remember Bishon Singh Bedi once ruefully mentioning during an interview that they were paid daily allowance for the Test matches. Once they won a match in 3 days, they were not given any allowance for remaining two days! Great incentive for winning matches! Money only came with the advent of cable telivision in mid 90s.
Goverment doesn't do a great about Golf but why are we doing so well there ? Why we excelled in Snooker, Billiards, Shooting. What help did it provide to Leander, Sania and Vishwnath Anand? Do we see the pattern?
Its not about the goverment, its about us. It is about parents. The earlier we introduce a child to a sport, the greatest is the chance to find a talent. Unless people themself don't be proactive about sporting activities, and begin to respect it, we won't find champions. And why will they do so? It will happen by seeing the teams doing well - getting fame, respect and money.
Luck will play a major role by throwing out genius like it did when we had Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Prakash Padukone, Vishwanath Anand, Leander Paes etc. We need another Dhanraj Pillai and Jugraj Singh in Hockey. People will see them and get inspired. And its not only the youngsters I am talking here. There parents need to be inspired first.
Labels: Cricket, Hockey, Sports