1. Who is the captain of Indian National Football team?
2. Who is the captain of Indian Women's Cricket team?
3. Who was the former captain of Indian Hockey Team?
Is it taking time for you to answer the above questions...chalo theek hain let me ask you the next question...you surely know the answer for this question.
4. WHO IS THE CAPTAIN of INDIAN NATIONAL MEN'S CRICKET TEAM?
I bet you could answer the 4th question within 10 milliseconds, while it might have taken atleast 1 min to answer the first three questions. Why? Are'nt the other three games as important as Cricket (in this context only the men's cricket team)?
No, it's not your fault...even I did not know that Jhulan Goswami was the skipper of Indian Women's Cricket Team. It is the Sports Ministry and media that is to be blamed. It's cricket here, cricket there, cricket cricket everywhere (and again I am talking only about the men's cricket team). Nobody is bothered about the other games. Every other game is given step motherly treatment in our country, so much so that many of them believe that Cricket is our national game, when actually in reality it is Hockey. Our players are treated like beggars.
It was disgusting to see the way Hockey India was treating the players by first not paying their dues and then insulting them by announcing to the media that these talented players are more concerned about money than about their country. Tell me who on the earth would feel like participating in other games if this is how the Sports officials are going to treat the players? Luckily the President of IOA, Suresh Kalmadi has ensured that an amount of Rs 1 crore would be distributed among the players and thus succeeded in persuading the players to start their training for World Cup. But the question is, will the players really be paid or is this just yet another empty promise given to them...the pessimist within me believes that it is the latter.
When Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal in Olympics, he threw light upon the fact that getting sponsorship for any other games is very difficult and that it requires lot of lobbying. But if it's cricket, money comes pouring. Indian cricketers are so damn rich that every father in the country says that beta if you want to be a sportsman, then be a cricketer. The best instance is that of Yogesh Singh forcing his son Yuvraj Singh to give up skating and get into cricket. Though I admit that games like Tennis (thanks to Leander Paes, Sania Mirza etc) and Chess (thanks to Vishwanathan Anand) has gained momentum in our country, it is the relentless battle for sponsorers and the associated politics that according to me proves to be a hurdle for our bright players and withholds them from participating in International games.
It is high time that the Sports Ministry promotes other sports too and provides facilities for both professionals and the amateurs to get trained and participate in International games. Even media should try to generate interest among our young bacchalog.
Theek hain enough of my bhashan...I am logging off now. I pray that our Indian Hockey team does well in the World Cup and silences the Hockey India officials who questioned their Indianess. As our young team prepares for the game in Pune, I would like to dedicate this song to them...ENJOY!!!
All the best Hockey Team!!!