Saturday, June 09, 2007
This post is coming after a Theirry Henry’s recent interview to an Indian journalist mostly taken during his recent visit to Asia, China to be more specific and more so for a campaign of Reebok products for which he is a brand ambassador.. What surprised me the most was the had Indian taste buds.. this god of football like to eat Indian food while at UK though is fully aware that they aren’t the best for this health and fitness,, And the moment he was asked his favourite dish.. pat came the answer Baigan.. and then he continued the list of items he eats.. naan, chicken tikka, bread and other chicken curries..
Then he was surprised to hear that he has lot of fans in India.. and people love to wear arsenal t-shirts with number 14 on back.. though he is one among the 100 most influential men declared by the TIME magazine for the being one of the greatest players of the most popular sport in the world he doesn’t expect himself to be noted by the second largest populated country..
He knew Indians are obsessed with cricket and do not play much football. And when asked about cricket he said, he knew all the rules and follows a little, more because of the media excessive reaction to England’s victory in the pervious Ashes series; but then he complains the matches to be too long..
But truly, I am surprised why we aren’t that good at sports, especially in all the popular ones? Is it true that cricket is ruining the other sports or is it because of our genes?
International Cricket is certainly a lot dependent of the Indian sub-continent atleast as far as the viewer ship and sponsorship issues are concerned. The game is not just treated as a sport but a gets lot of emotional attachment as well. It makes people go crazy, many worship for the Indian team and many yagnas are performed before big tournaments like the World Cup (May be this time gods didn’t want our countrymen to waste their time and money over this sport and our team was knocked out in the 1st stage). And then when our players don’t meet the people’s expectations their houses are stoned and painted black. And more amazingly Team India stands for the Indian cricket team as if it is the best in terms of team efforts and working together as a group.
Infrastructure and sponsorship are treated as the primary problems in the growth of other sports in our country. Now with the advent of number of MNC who wish to leave no stone unturned to get recognition and publicity are coming up big way in sponsoring sports even other than cricket.
Western Union money transfer was the prime sponsor for Premier Hockey League, Nike is sponsoring football teams at junior level, ABN-Amro sponsors few golf championships.. Mittal Sports Foundaion sponsors younger and emerging player to help them nurture their potentials and achieve international fame.
Hope these initiatives bear fruits and we do good at sports.. Hope India too gets to produce players like Henry and Federer and leaves a mark even in the world of sports (I mean beyond cricket)..