Have we substituted the Olympic oath—“For the honour of my country and the glory of sport’’—with a new personal oath: For glamour and money in sports!
Today sports have become more of a business rather than obeying to the oath we used to take during the Olympics. What has changed in the sporting pitch in today’s modern era?
One certainly cannot disregard the three most central elements involved while chasing a career in sports; luck, money and hard-work. While you cannot substitute hard work, luck and money are something that have taken precedence in becoming an ace player! When we talk about India, we are by tradition rich as far as our own national and rural games, namely hockey due to its historic connection, kabaddi, kho-kho, wrestling and few others but we as a nation have glorified ourselves as ‘one sport country’ which is cricket!
With Wimbledon and Euro cup concluding their 2020 games, it was overwhelming to see that the entire world was glued to the TV and online stream. Fans cheering for their favourite team seemed like such a grand affair between humans, society and sports. Another interesting facet of sports is its direct influence on economy. It is definitely considered a major contributor in any country’s GDP. However, sadly very few can make it to the top, so the real issue remains: Is it by luck or by simply capitalising money in the sportsman the only way or is the hard work enough to bring that talent to the top league?
India being the hub of sporting talent, somehow doesn’t feature in key international leagues. Why is India not in the list of any of these international leagues other than cricket? Ask any Indian about wanting a career in sports—he would immediately say cricket. For that matter, parents too are keen on supporting their children for a career in cricket.
With a populace of 1.39 billion, more than 30% of them subscribe to the live streaming OTT platforms for entertainment and sports; it is thus clear that sports are huge in India. The Indian sports industry values at an estimated revenue of $796 million. All major international OTT platforms capture close to 50% of the markets in India. That makes India the second biggest market for OTT consumption for foreign content.
So, in spite of having a large part of the population watching international league, why is India not capitalising by having its presence in world games. Why are we not able to produce more Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi, Bhaichug Bhuita to represent India in such leagues? Why are our talents largely confined to cricket alone?
Are we lacking behind in recognising great talents and providing them with equal opportunities, perhaps the answer is yes. What are the grave issues sports enthusiasts face in making a grand career? I decided to talk to a few sports men turned coaches who may know reasons behind why India is not able to pull up and promote young talent internationally.
The most predominant reason is the financial support to the most deserving talents—middle class parents cannot support the sports career of their child, the insecurity if he/she makes it to the top and having a stable career is also a big concern. Many parents give up halfway, when they realise the road ahead is tough, the private training cost is way above their nose, leave alone participating in international league. Brands mostly sponsor glorified names, and seldom they want to take up players at a junior level—perhaps spotting such talents is one area we lack too. Few coaches also shared that right sportsmanship attitude is lacking in some junior players due to the huge glamour value added by the cricket world—therefore picking the right players with the right attitude is sometimes a challenge. There is a lack of support from the government.
We have few Indians who truly brought honour to India by representing in Wimbledon and Olympics—Ramanathan Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan representing Wimbledon, where Ramanathan Krishnan in 1960 and 1962 and Vijay reached quarter finals in 1974 and 1981. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes winning in mixed doubles in Australian open, Wimbledon and Davis cup, of course a must mention to Sania Mirza for being the no. 1 women tennis player in India and Mary Kom to bring glory.
A special mention to our very own flying Sikh Milkha Singh and P.T. Usha, our Indian athletes known for true sportsmanship. And this week a new name has been added: Mirabai Chanu. I am sure there are many more names, perhaps we need to start glorifying them once again to bring true honour and glory to sports in India.
The author is a writer, content creator, media consultant & sports yoga coach.
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MESSI WAS ‘TYRANT’ DURING TRAINING, SAYS BARCA COACH RONALD KOEMAN
Barca coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi was like “a tyrant” during training at Barcelona.
The Argentina star raised the bar at the Camp Nou club as he developed into one of the greatest to ever play the game before departing to join Paris Saint-Germain this year. “Lionel Messi has obscured everything. He was so good and he won,” Koeman told Voetbal International, as reported by goal.com.
“Of course he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation,” said the Barcelona coach.
Koeman, who worked with the Argentina star for a year before Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain said, “I knew how good he is, but it’s still nice to see it up close every day. Everything you would like to teach a football player, in recognising situations, in taking the ball under pressure, in ball speed, in finishing; with Messi everything is a 10 Not normal, not normal!
“When we did a finishing practice during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi everything was: boom, boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything.”
WANT KOLKATA PLAYERS TO PLAY AGGRESSIVE CRICKET, IT SUITS TALENTED GUYS IN OUR SIDE: EOIN MORGAN
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan has said that it is really pleasing to finally see his franchise play a ‘fearless brand’ of cricket that is associated with him and head coach Brendon McCullum. Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table. “It is extremely pleasing. We want the best for everybody in the dressing room, the aggressive cricket that we have shown in the last two games is exactly what suits the talented guys in our changing room. I know some of them might feel alien to take risk after risk, but that is exactly what we want them to do. They are seriously talented, batting and bowling, and we want them to get better,” said Morgan while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.
Before entering this match, KKR had a dismal record against MI, registering just six wins in a total of 28 games, but Iyer and Tripathi helped the franchise turn around their fortunes. “I do not think it is one player (Venkatesh Iyer) that has changed the outlook of the team. The last two games have been, the superstars in our side have been the bowlers. That allowed our opening pair to play their natural game. Venkatesh played an innings against MI that would match a guy who has played 50 IPL games. The freedom in which he has played with has really been imposing. He has continued on with his form, but I do not think it is one player. It has been a collective performance which has been set by our bowlers,” said Morgan.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs. For KKR, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson scalped two wickets each. “I think the quality of our spinners means that they can bowl in conditions that are not friendly to spin bowling. I do not think Abu Dhabi is, the two games we have played here, the ball has not spun much as compared to the last time we played here,” said Morgan.
GANGULY HAS PLAYED HUGE ROLE IN MY BATTING, WANT TO REPLICATE HIS STYLE: VENKATESH IYER
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer has impressed one and all with his hitting ability in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, and he has now revealed that his style is inspired by none other than former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the sixth position.
“Honestly, KKR was the first franchise I wanted to get in because Sourav Ganguly was the captain initially so I wanted to get into KKR first. Got picked by the franchise so it was a dreamy moment for me. Everyone was very welcoming , I got a lot of gifts. I am a huge fan of Dada, he has got millions of fans around the globe and I am one of them. He has played a huge role in my batting,” Iyer told teammate Rahul Tripathi in a video posted on iplt20.com.“I used to bat right-handed when I was very young but I wanted to exactly replicate Dada, how he hit sixes and the way he batted. He has played a very big role unknowingly in my life. I was really waiting for my opportunity and I knew I am going to get my chance,” he added.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs.
For KKR, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson scalped two wickets each. KKR will next lock horns against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.
IPL 2021: With every win, there’s more self-belief, says KKR spinner Sunil Narine
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) unit is in a great mood after winning both their games in the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL). While they thrashed Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets on Monday, the team won by seven wickets on Thursday against Mumbai Indians.In-form spinner Sunil Narine believes the team is in great mood and winning two games at the start of the second leg will help motivate the boys to keep firing on all cylinders in the remaining matches.
“It’s a good mood once you win cricket games, and it’s a perfect start. And can only build from strength to strength. It’s a good motivation, after winning two [games]. And it just sets the tone, and is more or less a confidence booster for the games coming,” he said in a video posted on KKR’s twitter handle.
“With every win, there’s more self-belief. Today was a perfect game after doing well in all departments of the game be it batting, bowling and fielding. It is very good once you do that consistently you’re going to win 90 per cent of the games, and if you continue doing that…build momentum never know what can happen,” he added.
While Narine won the Man of the Match award for figures of 1/20 from his four overs, what made his achievement special was that he picked the all-important wicket of MI skipper Rohit Sharma. Narine said it is always special to dismiss Rohit in any form of cricket. In fact, the West Indies bowler said that good outings in the CPL and The Hundred has helped him stay in momentum for the IPL.
While Narine rose to the challenge with the ball, it was Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer who stole the show while chasing MI’s total of 155/6 in their 20 overs. Rahul remained unbeaten on 74 off 42 balls and Iyer hit a 30-ball 53.
BOWLING FAST NOT SOMETHING I THINK ABOUT ON THE FIELD, SAYS ANRICH NORTJE
Delhi Capitals pacer Anrich Nortje on Friday said he does not think about bowling fast when he goes out to the park to play for his team. Delhi Capitals is currently at the top spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 points table. The side had defeated SunRisers Hyderabad on Wednesday by eight wickets. Nortje had managed to take two wickets in the match, including the scalp of opening batsman David Warner.
But what impressed everyone was the pace he generated. “It is a question I get a lot. It (bowling fast) is not something I think about when I am on the field. Obviously, when you are training and are working on your strength, that is when you think about it. This is what motivates me, when I am on the field, I am just trying to hit the length,” said Nortje while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
“It is about finding the right lengths, whether it is with the new ball or old ball. Yorkers and bouncers in between, every wicket is a bit different. It all depends on how the wicket is playing. I think it is about trying to adapt every day as quickly as possible. It is just about adapting and finding the right line. It is about taking the pitch out of it,” he added.
When asked about fitness update on Marcus Stoinis, Nortje said: “We are just waiting on some results. He looks good, he is fine. I spoke to him this morning, but we are just waiting for some results. He had gone for a scan.”
Talking about Avesh Khan as a fast bowler, the Proteas pacer said: “There are some of us who have been looking at him on how he has been landing his yorkers. He has been so good for us. It was nice to see him in India on how he landed his yorkers when the pressure was on him. It was nice to see how he has been progressing. I am sure he is holding on to his yorkers for the games where the pressure is on. He has got a bright future ahead of him.”
Delhi Capitals will next square off against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. “Abu Dhabi wicket is a bit on the slower side. We have to be quick to assess. It is not going to be an easy game, heat will be a major factor. Hopefully, we can just control our skills. We need to focus on how we go as a side. We are looking forward to tomorrow,” said Nortje.
When asked about the captaincy of Rishabh Pant, Nortje said: “It is difficult to say after one game. Obviously, just simple things, he is good with angles, really nice to have him as a wicketkeeper and captain.”
CSK beat RCB by six wickets to make it two wins in a row
After this victory, M.S. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings return to the top of the table ahead of Delhi Capitals on net run rate.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) middle-order delivered after Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis provided a fantastic start with the bat as the team in yellow chased the target of 156 in 18.1 overs, defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 6 wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
After this victory, CSK returns to the top of the table ahead of Delhi Capitals (DC) on Net Run Rate (NRR). For RCB, things are getting a tad trickier, and they will need to get back to winnings ways soon, as the rest of the pack are catching up on them. For Chennai Super Kings, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu scored innings of 38 and 32 respectively. Faf du Plessis also scored crucial innings of 31 while MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina lead the team across the victory line with winning runs. For RCB Harshal Patel scalped two wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Glen Maxwell returned with one wicket each.Chasing 156, Chennai had a brilliant start as Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis took apart the RCB bowlers in the first six overs of the match. After the first powerplay, the CSK score read 59/0.
The duo continued with their carnage for a couple more overs as Yuzvendra Chahal provided the RCB with the much-needed breakthrough in the 9th over of the match. Virat Kohli took a sensational catch as Gaikwad walked back after scoring 38 off 26.
In the very next over, spin again did the trick for the team in red as Glen Maxwell removed du Plessis (31 off 26) after the South African found the fielder at short-fine. After losing two quick wickets, Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali stabilised CSK’s innings. Harshal Patel struck as Virat Kohli took another catch to dismiss Moeen Ali on 23. The Englishman walked back with CSK needing 39 off 36.
In the 16th over Harshal Patel got another one as he removed dangerous-looking Ambati Rayudu (32 off 22). Rayudu handed a simple catch to AB de Villiers at mid-wicket. MS Dhoni joined Suresh Raina at the crease with CSK needing 24 off 26 with six wickets in hand. In the 17th over, Raina after being held by Wanindu Hasaranga in the first four balls smashed 10 runs in the last two balls to take the momentum towards team in yellow.
In the next over by Mohammed Siraj, Dhoni smashed two fours as CSK then required two runs in the last two overs of the match. CSK then easily scored the remaining runs to steal the two points. Earlier, Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) posted the score of 156/6 in their allotted twenty overs.
Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli scored innings of 70 and 53 respectively for Banglore. The duo made a 111-run opening stand. But RCB middle-order failed to gain the benefit from the start provided by the openers. For CSK, Shardul Thakur scalped two wickets while Dwayne Bravo returned with three.Put in to bat first, Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal provided a brilliant start to the RCB. The duo played some stunning shots and powered their team to a strong position in the first six overs. After the end of the first powerplay, the RCB score read 55/0.
The pair continued their carnage after providing a rollicking start to the team in Red. In the 12th over of the innings, Devdutt Padikkal raced towards his half-century. The left-hander brought up his sixth IPL half-century off 35 deliveries.
In the very next over, RCB captain Virat Kohli completed his half-century. Dwayne Bravo got the breakthrough for CSK in 14th over after he removed Kohli for 53 (41 balls).
In the 17th over, Shradul Thakur dismissed AB de Villiers and Padikkal on two consecutive deliveries. Padikkal departed for 70 off 50 while ABD made 12. Tim David’s debut with the bat didn’t last long as Deepak Chahar removed him in the penultimate over of the innings. Chahar just gave four runs and returned with a wicket in the 19th over.
Bravo then removed Maxwell and Harshal Patel in the last over as RCB finished with 156/6 even after such a good start provided by the openers.
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