Cricket, a killer whale in India

India is still celebrating the country’s most loved batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s date with history. The master blaster scored a mighty 200* at Gwalior on Feb 24 to become the only man in history to scale the height of 200 runs in a International ODI.

Buzz up!Lurking underneath this great historical event for India, is a dingy underbelly of the plight of other sports in the country.

The pitch on which Sachin won himself a page in the history was actually a Hockey stadium, set up to honour Captain Roop Singh, an Olympic hockey gold medalist.

However, due to the increasing and rather overpowering popularity of cricket and fueled by the cricket love-lobby nurtured by the scions of Gwalior, the stadium was turned into a Cricket stadium in 1980s.

It was on this turf that the lady luck smiled on Sachin Tendulkar and he rode into record books. When asked to whom he owed his success, master blaster said he dedicated his feat to the country.

But it would have been more appropriate and probably more impactful if Sachin Tendulkar had chosen to dedicate his achievement to Captain Roop Singh as a gesture to promote other forms of sports in India.

Additionally, if the cricketing demi-god had just uttered the word ‘hockey’, it would have helped the upcoming Hockey World Cup gather some attention, excitement and fervour from the cricket-crazy country, which is blissfully ignorant of the international sporting event the country is hosting.

Sadly, the event is only getting attention from the sponsors such as Hero Honda, which has produced two or three ads featuring stars including Sachin’s collegue Sehwag, urging the country to watch and support the national game.

In 1972, Devakanth Baruva a celebrated Sycophant surrounded by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared ‘Indira is India, India is Indira’. That is an all time fun feature for those who don’t belong to non-congress (I) clan in India. Interestingly, it was during those years the world used to relate India to Hockey; Hockey to India.

Over the years, cricket has managed to slowly nudge aside other Indian sports to hog the limelight all by itself. It has now come to a condition where, cricket has swallowed every other branch of sports in India, like the killer whale of Florida.


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