Friday, May 19, 2006

The Reply

I started a comment in reply to Rohit's observations, but it turned out to be quite long so I am posting it here. My point of view could be different and I welcome more discussion on it. Thanks for patiently listening :D

@Rohit:

I agree with you on just one account. IHF just failed to market cricket the way BCCI has done. They could have capitalised on the image of their star players but instead the present brand image is of adult men squabbling like kids.

That said, I disagree blaming everything on free market and the supply-demand model. How many dream runs do you want before we acknowledge other sportsmen?

  • The Indian Hockey team won the Champion's Challenge Trophy in 2001.
  • We won the Hamburg Masters trophy in 2003.
Did any of us know about all this? Aren't those victories to be applauded?
The President of the Inernational Hockey Federation said, "This is the best team I have seen in years." But the country can't be bothered.

When India lost to Australia in the World Cup, the whole nation turned into a mob. We screamed and ranted and pushed the team to perform better and go all the way to the finals. Do we show such emotional outbursts when the hockey team loses to Pakistan?

Ganguly is dropped and the nation cries. We protest and cry foul of the Selection committee. How many such protests were held when Dhanraj Pillay was dropped? Maybe a handful of his fans and the few journalists who cover the Hockey beat.

I am a huge Dravid Fan. I have a big folder of most of the newspaper articles on him. So does that mean I just forget about Tennis and other sports ? Or am I dismissed as an exception to the rule? Watch Cricket, yes, it's a free market and it's your choice but don't push the other players to the brink of extinction. Just because cricket is marketed well doesn't mean the other sports fraternity should languish without attention in their corners.

A player/team needs motivation to perform. I don't know if you read the link I provided but the article says how in his old age Dhyan Chand didn't want his sons to take up hockey.
Why? Coz the nation forgets you and it doesn't pay your bills at all. How many such talents have we lost?

As for new plans of IHF, there was one about starting a National League(like the county matches). Sahara was the proposed sponsor and ESPN-Star Sports was to be partner for 10 years. I do not know the staus on that front. Maybe if it has indeed kicked off, there could be hope but then again we would settle for Katrina Kaif rather than watch hockey.

Please don't ask them to prove themselves. We support cricket inspite of them doing bad. Why do you want the hockey team to win medals before you would give them a second thought?

Be an ardent cricket fan but don't force the other sportspeople(like the weightlifters in Punjab) to sell their medals to feed their families. That's the worst insult you can accord to them.
Our nation has enough and more religions. Let's not transform cricket into another religion and become fanatic about it.

Give the others a chance.

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