Popularity of Other Sports
As the 17-day summer extravaganza i.e. the Rio Olympics ended on the 21st of August, I realized something that although cricket might still be the biggest sport in India, it is no longer the only sport that can hold the breath of our entire nation. I watched along with my hostel mates as PV Sindhu came back in the first set from 11-2 down to win 21-19 and at that moment I realized that people in India connect with sports in general, not just with cricket. So, here in this article of SAIKISITE, I will list a few reasons why the past 5 years have seen an ascend in popularity of various other sports?
Also Read: Olympic wrestling Incident (Narsingh Yadav)
Too much cricket
Yes, my readers, today we have reached a stage of too much of cricket which was, at one point in time, unthinkable. But now, we have a live game of cricket almost every day on our TV screens and India plays in what seems like half of them. This extreme amount of cricket has made a lot of people insensitive to its beauty, moreover, too much of anything is never a good thing.
Domestic leagues for various sports
Leagues such as Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi League, Premier Badminton League have played a huge part in encouraging the Indian youth to play various sports. They have encouraged Indian parents to not only view their children as a potential cricketer but as a potential sportsperson. The youth in our country does not lack talent the only thing it lacks is the platform to showcase its talent and that is what is being provided. These leagues have also helped our youth to train with the best of players from around the world. Being a die-hard football fan, I was extremely overjoyed to see the legends and the World Cup winners like Roberto Carlos, Marco Materazzi steps into our grounds and play with Indian players and teach them the little things that helped them succeed.
As the demand for different sports has increased, so has the scope of money in them and where there is money there always are men of money, the businessmen. These businessmen have heavily invested in various sports such as Football, Badminton, and Kabaddi. These highly commercial leagues bring these under-appreciated sports in India on the forefront of our consciousness for at least a period of few weeks overtaking cricket in the process. These leagues play no small part in the fact that today people recognize these players on the street and bring fame for not only the player but also the sport which has made several of the youth go for these sports.
Also Read: Indian Stars in the Rio Olympics
Better opportunities for women
With all due respect to Indian women’s cricket team, names like Mary Kom, Vinesh Phogat, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu are more familiar to Indian ears. This is majorly due to the fact that while Indian cricket setup is an extremely well-oiled machine, the women often take a backseat when compared to men but in other sports like badminton, wrestling, boxing etc. men and women are given equal opportunities. This year, Dipa Karmakar became the first athlete to represent India in the Olympic gymnastics final event. Personally speaking, seeing our national flag raised high at a gymnastics final was a very heartwarming moment for me.
More exposure from mainstream media
For years, we the sports layman didn’t know or care (whichever way you’d like to put it) what was India doing in sports besides cricket? (After all the sports shows on Indian news channel had cricket terminologies in their names). Take for an example the year 2007, when cricket brought the extremes of emotions out of us. The anguish and sorrow of getting knocked out of the 50 over World Cup and the joy and jubilation of winning the inaugural 20 over World Cup. And on the other hand, one more Indian team won a tournament that was the 2007 Hockey Asia Cup but few seem to remember that but now it is certainly different with the entire nation feeling good about the fact that our Hockey team reached the knockout stages of Olympics for the first time in 36 years.
Also Read: List of World XI Cricket Team
In the end, I would like to say that cricket is unarguably still the most popular and followed sport in our country and will, for all intents and purposes, remain so. The point of this article was to show every reader that the sports in India are growing, the players are progressing and our country’s sports landscape does not include just a single sport anymore.
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