'Give more importance to other sports'

'Give more importance to other sports'

mass appeal People turn up in huge number for a cricket match .

With the word ‘cricket’ driving the masses into a frenzy, Metrolife wonders what the masses think about the unjust preference given to cricket over other sports.

Akash Rai, an architecture student, says, “Cricket is put on a pedestal mostly because cricketers are given an ego boost from the hype surrounding them and therefore, end up performing better. When it comes to other sports, they are not given that much financial support, training and media coverage. Therefore, people do not even have the chance to focus on sports other than cricket.”

While talking about other sports which are internationally recognised but not given their due in India, Maitri Ramkumar, a student, says, “No sport in India has been given as much recognition as cricket. A few years back, when the National Basketball Association (NBA) from the USA had come to India with prospects of recruiting Indian basketball players, it was not given enough media coverage and moreover, most people were not even bothered about who they were and what they had come for, other than the basketball players in India who knew the importance the NBA in America and wanted to be selected for it.”

There is a lot of criticism against the importance given to cricket over other sports. But suggestions on how to make the situation better are very few. In this light, Jagdeesh Laxman Singh, a professional, says, “There should be an elected committee in India which should decide on a national basis as to which sport needs to be promoted. Popular sports like cricket should be taxed heavily in order to support lesser known sports like kabbadi, table tennis, squash etc. The central and the state governments should concentrate on building more sports fields and stadiums, than converting every free open space into a park. Plus, at least one indoor and one outdoor sport should compulsorily be included in the school curriculum.”

Says Ashwini Ponnappa, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist in badminton, “Our own players and athletes should be given more international training and exposure before considering the international players and athletes. Cricket is a sport which is marketed very well and loved by everyone. So this should continue. But at the same time, the government and sports associations in India should give as much importance to other sports so that other sportspersons and athletes perform better and earn the same kind of recognition.”

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