BCCI Has Created Heroes And Cricket Has Become A Religion: Ganguly
Winning medal in Olympics is bigger than winning in cricket but still cricket gets more mileage because of the sporting heroes and idols that this game has managed to create
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The reason why cricket is a religion in India today is because BCCI has successfully created heroes and that is exactly what other sports need to do, said Sourav Ganguly, former captain of Indian cricket team and president of the Cricket Association of Bengal.
Ganguly said at a session on "Business of Sports" at the 89th AGM of FICCI that television has played a key role in making cricket popular in the country.
Also, administrators need to capitalize on the existing pool and should not hesitate to promote the talented players. Winning medal in Olympics is bigger than winning in cricket but still cricket gets more mileage because of the sporting heroes and idols that this game has managed to create.
Ganguly said that in terms of financial sustainability cricket is one big example for other sports. BCCI has got its own stadiums in almost every state which no other federation has managed to do so far. Besides, he pointed out that the reason behind IPL's success is the structured functionality of the organization.
Renowned shooter Abhinav Bindra said that federations and government have ample funds but it reaches to the players just 3-4 months before the Olympics. This is hardly appropriate as the sportsperson has to train for full four years to be able to make a mark at the international level. He emphasized on the need to focus on the process of preparation and not be bogged down by the outcome.
Deepa Malik, athlete and Summer Paralympics 2016 silver medal winner, said that the perception of the corporate world and the people towards para sports has undergone a sea change after India won the medals in 2016 Paralympics. But this is just the beginning. The actual challenge is one of getting the funds at the right time and the quantum of money required is far more than other games for para athletes because of the additional challenges that they face. While CSR funds are welcome, corporates need to adopt athletes and monitor the performance closely.
Sports journalist Boria Majumdar, who moderated the session, said that countries like Jamaica and Croatia whose sports infrastructure does not match even that of India are still producing world class, medal winning athletes. He said that all the existing leagues like, ISL and badminton in India are struggling to survive financially apart from IPL.