IPL (Indian Premier League) took the center stage last week when it auctioned the 77 top-class international players for the teams involved in the league. I was not surprised by the amount of media coverage it got and also by the amount of money that the different teams were ready to cough up to sign up the top players. I am not against IPL or by the top-class players putting themselves for sale and also crying later ( Ponting and Younis Khan to name a few) that they did not fetch a good price. But I am totally against the shameless public display of such extravagance. This can all be done behind the scenes. This is again a case of the BCCI going over-board with the display of its riches and and the Indian Corporates showing its over-eagerness to participate in anything remotely related to Cricket. This happened when India won the T20 world cup. What happened when Anand won the world cup? What happened when the hockey team won the Asia cup? What happened when Geet Sethi won his world titles? Absolutely nothing, nobody gave a damn!
We have thousands of sportsmen from other disciplines struggling to make a decent living even after representing the country . We have hundreds of budding sportsmen struggling to find sponsorship to pursue their dreams. How would they be feeling? My heart goes out to them and their parents who must be supporting them. I see nothing wrong when parents put their foot down and ask their kids to either study well or focus on cricket. I strongly encourage parents to do it if their kids are wasting their time on other sports.
India can never become be a sports superpower with this attitude. For the first time in my life, I agree with the communist parties when they want the Government to order an inquiry into the source of the money that the corporates and the individuals are willing to pay for an event like IPL.
If you have money then have it but don’t flaunt it. Instead make use of it in improving the cricketing infrastucture through out the country, build academies to groom the youngsters who can take over when the Sachins, Rahuls and Souravs retire, and, make some contributions to the boards and sportsmen from other discipline and help the country move forward in all disciplines. That way there will be less antagonism even if you flaunt all that you have.
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