Comments like this are usually observed several times repeatedly with connection of sports news about the Indian team performing superbly or poorly in any tournament like Asian Games, SAF Games, Olympic Games etc. Many people are of the same opinion about Cricket with a lot of media focus on it, has presently become a corporate game and commercialization, exposure of the cricketers are at the top level.
Championships like T20, Indian Premier League etc. added fuel to the adulation and exultation of the Indian Cricket Team and their members. Some people do worship to several members of the team as they are real life God, and the game has become religion and passion. Betting is also inevitable for such a game with affluent money flow in and around.
On the contrary, media is not so interested to make coverage of the other games in India. The people of India have to think repeatedly that physical fitness, expertise, environment, climate and ultimately ruthless determination to succeed or win are not the problems of our players, only they are lacking good infrastructure and funding for various sporting events. Popularity of a sport automatically grows with sponsorship. With the help of sponsorship, entertainment also reaches to a greater extent and performances of the players participating in it thrive simultaneously. Each and every sport is being given importance in developed countries, thus infrastructure and better training is provided also in accordance with sufficient funding. But in India we usually fail to focus all the sports equally.
We can take Hockey as an example. A very few of us are familiar with the names and faces of Indian Hockey Team. The reason behind is, they are not highlighted as the players of the Indian Cricket Team. Is that only because the coverage of the media has shifted to Cricket? Or any other reason behind it? Now only the text books of schools can say that hockey is our national game. But the Union ministry of youth affairs declared that India does not have a national game because no game is notified as such.
SPS Tomar, under secretary, Union ministry of youth affairs and sports answered to some queries of the reporters that he did not know of any order or notification of the sports ministry declaring hockey as the national game. Despite being neglected by the media focus, Indian Hockey Team has won the Gold Medal in the Asian Games this year and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The Indian Hockey Team will have to maintain their success as a habit, otherwise exuberance and elation of the fans will be transitory.
Badminton is now much more popular sport in India and probably the 2nd most played sport in India after Cricket. The sport is directed by Badminton Association of India. India has attained many top level success in Badminton in the past also with the help of star players like Prakash Padukone, Madhumita Bist, Pullela Gopichand etc. Both Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand won the All England Championship in the year 1980 and 2001 respectively. But Badminton was never been focussed as Cricket in the past years.
The credit goes to Pullela Gopichand who decided to start a Badminton Academy after his thriving win in the All England Championship. The Government of Andhra Pradesh awarded him with 5 acres of land in 2003 at the Gachibowli area in Hyderabad as a lease at very nominal rate for 45 years. He managed to get the sponsorship of Yonex and involved foreign coach for his Academy. He has managed to afford US$1000,000 for training 60 players per year. The Academy still needs funding to run at an optimum level with more coaches, and the target amount is US$3000,000 a year. Only then India can expect more Saina Nehwal from the junior levels with stunning success in international arena.
A lot more development is needed in Indian Volleyball. Indian men’s team lost 2-3 against Japan at the2014 Asian Games. The Indian team started brilliantly to win the first set in 24 minutes, but did not manage to continue their performance and temperament till the end. It clearly signifies that with developing physical fitness, players are to be trained to combat psychological pressure and scientific strategy building, because mental framework is also very important as physical ability to reach the optimum level of success in sports.
India has plenty of star players in various streams of sports like Viswanathan Anand in Chess, R S Rathore and Vijay Kumar in Shooting, Vijay Amritraj , Sania Mirza, Leander Paes in Tennis, Jyoti Randhawa in Golf, Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi, Pankaj Advani in Snooker, P T Usha in Athletics and many more. People can observe players shine in soccer, wrestling, archery, athletics, boxing, swimming and various other games. But extreme focus is given to Cricket, so the other games are automatically get dimmed.
Different reader may have different opinion on this topic. So, readers may put their valuable comments in favour or against the topic. Hope we can probably reach to a solution to come out from the one–eyed media strategies in India.