So BCCI has managed to get the rich and famous all over India to bid for the favour of owning their cricket teams. Maybe this is a trend that other sports organizations in India should follow--it might help the Indian women’s hockey team to free themselves of government control and state patronage, which is sometimes extremely irksome. For instance, team members were not told of a dedicated grant of 5 lakhs given to the Indian Hockey Federation to purchase equipment. And members of the women’s team had to spend an extremely uncomfortable night in the Karnail Singh Stadium dormitories due to sheer negligence. One is aware that the Ambanis, Mallyas, Juhi Chawlas and Shah Rukh Khans of this world do not patronize cricket out of a spirit of altruism--owning your own sports team does wonders for their image in the media--but it would be wonderful to see some of India’s rich and famous patronize our weightlifters, swimmers, tennis players, footballers, athletes and hockey players. Cricket might be the most popular sport at this moment, but other sports could also do with much public, not state, patronage and coverage by the media.
And talking of cricket, it appears to be losing its lustre as a sport for gentlemen, as seen during the recent Bhajji-Symonds spat. It’s unusual to see grace, such as that displayed by Brett Lee and Alan Glichrist, who congratulated the Indian team on winning a test match. Aggression and competition have their place in sport, but so does the admission that your opponent is playing well and deserves to do as well as you do. I hope the Indian team and Indian players emulate the behaviour of Lee and Gilchrist when possible, not just the agression of Ponting, Clarke and Hayden.