We live in a country which is obsessed with placing its energy, investments and people in a few select sports. Okay, ONE sport, namely cricket. While football and kabaddi are getting the necessary traction via media emphasis in lieu of the ISL and Pro-kabaddi league respectively, there is much left to be desired across the landscape.
Here are 5 other sports that desperately need a stimulus.
Tennis is a popular game but still needs a development push to match the viewership interest. While a lot of domestic academies have come up, the fact remains that professional players such as Sania Mirza have trained intensively abroad where quality coaches and facilities are available. Heck, even the Grass courts seem like clay courts given the maintenance quality!
One of the highest-intensity sports has unfortunately not seen due investment by the government. We essentially lack the demographic endowments in lieu of lesser average height, but this has been done no favours with the lack of investment in trainers, courts or marketing development. Recently, Indian-origin Satnam Singh made it to the Dallas Mavericks B team in the NBA-Hope for the future!
3) Table Tennis
While we do have a host of talent in this sport, we have failed to match our counterparts such as China in the tournaments of the scale of Commonwealth and the Olympics. Our medal tally fails miserably in comparison. Our successes in Tennis is rather counter-intuitive given that we are inherently lazy and should ideally do better in the indoor, air-conditioned, table version of the game!
Noticing a streak of racquet games in this list? Squash is no different. More so than tennis, Squash suffers more as it is not essentially a spectator sport. No viewership? No crazy fan following like cricket? Sorry, no money for investment or development. Squash is squashed beneath the weight of more popular sports, pun not intended.
We end on a disappointing note. Hockey, once India’s pride has fallen through the ranks to make it to number 1 on this list. Once a sport we used to proudly don as one of our successful niches, it has decayed to a disgusting point. It is the Leeds United of Indian Sport. Although a push was made with the PHL (Premier Hockey League), the sport has a long way to go in our popular consciousness.
Do you think we will ever be able focus beyond cricket? Will the sports authorities understand this problem ? Only time will give these answers but what we know is India will continue producing these amazing athelets in various domains but they will fail if they are not groomed.
#BleedBlue For all Sports