Palanquin for Indian sports
Once upon a time,in India,the sports news used to find a place only in the back pages of Indian newspapers.But,nowadays,they are getting featured in the main pages too.The change in the tendency of Indians considering sports only as a pastime in holidays to a serious profession,and the credence developed in the people that sports are not only for the sake of jubilation or joy,but also for the sake of subsistence,being the main reasons behind this transformation.
Twenty five years ago,in India,not only those who play a sport,but also those watch it were very less in number.With the revolutions brought up in the field of cable TVs,people got a chance to catch the ongoing actions in the field on live sitting comfortably at their homes.Sports in India,once,were restricted only to Cricket,Badminton,Hockey.But,the things have changed drastically now.Nowadays,Indians presence was found in almost every major sport.The recent Olympics adds strength to this fact.The number of youngsters who are setting their goals high in the field of different sports,has been increasing exponentially.The upcoming generations are dreaming of becoming not only Doctors,Engineers or Teachers but also great Cricketers,Tennis stars,Badminton players.
Among many sports played in India,the first place is undoubtedly Cricket’s.In the last twenty five years,cricket has got transformed from a sport to a religion,with legendary Sachin Tendulkar being the God.Past two decades were written as “Golden age in the Indian Cricket“,in the pages of world history.In fact,this period should be called as Sachin’s era.This Little Master is a pride not only in Indian Cricket but also for the World Cricket.The things one would never have dreamed off in world cricket like hundred centuries in International cricket,highest run getter in ODIs and Tests,player to have played highest number of matches are under the feet of this run machine.And,during this period the world cricket also witnessed Cricketing Legends from Indian Cricket like Javagal Srinath,Anil Kumble,Saurav Ganguly,Rahul Dravid. Indian cricket team,that was an ordinary cricket team on International arena in 1990,is now a dominating super power and Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI)is the richest cricket board ever.With the championships in 2007 T20 Worldcup and 2011 ODI Worldcup being the most memorable moments in Indian history,many players like Sehwag,Laxman.Yuvraj,Dhoni have rendered their services to the team.Indian Premier League(IPL) is of crucial importance in Indian History of Cricket.
May not be equivalent to Sachin in cricket,but Leander Paes in Tennis,has taken the prestige of nation to the heights in International level.He has been disseminating the nation’s reputation and pride for last 25 years.India’s second innings of Olympics medals’ tally was started by the Bronze medal won by Paes in 1996 Olympics.He already has 13 Grand Slam titles in his store.Players like Mahesh Bhupathi,Sania Mirza,Yuki Bambri,Somdev Varman have made India glitter in World Tennis.
In 2000 Olympics,Karanam Malleswari had won a Bronze medal for country in Weight Lifting.Vishwanathan Anand has won the World Chess Championship in 2000,2007,2008,2010,2012.He has been in the Top-3 for last 20 years.Players like Surya Shekhara Ganguly,Hari Krishna,Koneru Hampi,Harika have spread the nation’s greatness all around the world,in Chess.
All England Badminton Championship won by Pullela Gopichand in 2001,served as a prelude to new epoch in Indian Badminton History.Followed by Gopichand were Saina Nehwal,Chetan Anand,Gutta Jwala,who also pronounced India’s eminence to the badminton world.In 2004 Olympics,Rajya Vardhan Singh Rathode won the nation a Silver from Shooting. Abhinav Bindra in 2008 Olympics took the country’s medal tally in Gold column to one.Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang have continued the winning streak of country in Shooting,in 2012 Olympics.
Many sports persons like Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt in Wrestling,Vijender Singh and Mary Kom in Boxing,Geeth Sethi and Pankaj Adwani in Billiards,Jeev Milka Singh in Golf,Narayan Karthikeyan in Racing have spread India’s reputation and fame in sports in all the corners of world.While India could manage to get 14 Olympic medals between 1900 and 1980,it has won 12 Olympic medals from 1996 to 2012. F1 track named ‘Buddha Circuit’ built in Delhi with International standards,has won world wide commendation.Along with Government’s sports federations,some private organisations like Go Sports have been training the upcoming generations at best by providing them with all the provisions required.Sponsors too have started showing interest towards many sports other than Cricket,Badminton,Tennis,Hockey.
India sports have acquired heights in last twenty five years,but these achievements seem to be very minor when compared with our neighbor country China’s sporting talents.In addition,the performance of Indian team in our national game,Hockey is demeaning day by day.Attention towards our traditional games like Kho-Kho and Kabaddi is also not up to the mark.And,in world’s most popular sport,Football,we do not even have a national team.In Athletics,after Milka Singh and P.T.Usha’s times,Indian Athletes completely failed to make any impact on World Athletics.And,India is still unfortunate to host the mighty Olympics.Match fixing scandals in Cricket,corruption in Common Wealth games and controversies in IPL cannot be overlooked.International Olympic Federation obliterating the recognition of Indian Olympic Federation will forever be a black stain on Indian history.
On a whole,a strong foundation was laid in the past twenty five years and it is the responsibility of present generations of India to steadily and emphatically take the country’s pride to the pinnacle.