A wide range of sports and games are played in India and undoubtedly, Indian sports have made a remarkable contribution at the international level. But cricket is one sport which has left such an impact on the minds of Indians that they worship it and the main reason of it is BCCI. BCCI is independent organization and is the richest cricket board in the world while other sports are undertaken by government. Media is also responsible for the soaring popularity of Cricket. On any news channel or news paper, cricket is mentioned more, overshadowing all other sports. And since the arrival of IPL, cricket is celebrated more like a national festival, than game alone.
Annually played IPL has not only stolen the show for viewers and cricket fans but has also left a dominating effect on the cricketers. They no more play for the sake of playing with sportsman spirit rather they play for endorsing various brands, fulfilling their own interests and linking themselves with other industries such as film industry and business industry. Cricket has become merely a COMMERCIALIZATION ART. Also the loathsome practices like match fixing has made the IPL matches more interesting and exciting.
As a result, Cricket has not only lost its original value but is also overshadowing other sports in India due to the encouragement, sponsorship & promotion given to it and all the show business now related directly with it. Indians hardly consider any other achievement earned in other sports by our players even on international level.
Some steps that can be initiated to encourage cricket only as a sport and to promote other sports as well:
- A check should be maintained by the Government on the money and show business involved with Cricket. This just adds to the glamour, not to the value of Cricket as a sport.
- Strict rules and punishments should be taken in action to prohibit match fixing and betting of cricket matches.
- BCCI should select players on the basis of their previous performance and physical fitness and not on the basis of their popularity and star value. That is, no player should be given more than 1 or 2 series consecutively to prove themselves.
- Domestic level cricket should also be given attention and national level cricket players should be given chance in international and IPL matches on regular basis.
- BCCI may be a private body but it should not forget that with mega bucks pouring in, and the sport being larger than life in India due to the support of the masses, it must be answerable to the public for everything.
- Regular tournaments of other games should also be taken in consideration by media and government and the winners of other sports should also be showered with popularity and money. This will enhance a sense of equality in cricket players with other sportsmen and encourage them to grow more as players than as entertainers.
- Government and Corporate world should fund other sports as well so that other sportsmen could get better training and gain popularity as a worthy sport.
- Coaches should be given incentives for producing sportspersons of certain standard in all the games.
- Private companies should be given tax exemption for donations they make to Government-recognized sports bodies.
With all these points taken in consideration and many more, India can gain back the real prestige of cricket as a game rather than a commercial entertaining source and make cricket and other games flourish together in a more successful way.