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You said it right Dada!

You said it right Dada!
Highlights

The other day former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly made a pertinent observation, one that comes up as a possible remedial measure to redress the ills plaguing Indian sports.

The other day former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly made a pertinent observation, one that comes up as a possible remedial measure to redress the ills plaguing Indian sports. As things stand, barring in a handful of disciplines, India, for all its largeness in population, is the butt of ridicule in the world of sports.

Irrespective of whether one takes it or leaves it, the fact is that Indians are mere pretenders to the throne, particularly in Olympic disciplines, despite the tall claims by who have you! Ganguly was forthright while contending that India can emerge as a sports powerhouse ten years down the line if the authorities take cue and emulate the example set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

It rings true considering that for all its ego-ridden no-holds-barred sparring for one-upmanship, the BCCI stands as the best example of how a professionally-run entity can yield envious results. As the Bengal southpaw states, Indian athletes need to be provided with the right infrastructure, State support and coaches with impeccable credentials.

Unfortunately, such provisions seem like a luxury given the step-motherly attitude towards non-glamourous disciplines. It is true that a couple of good showings cannot help produce world champions as it involves years and years of toil and infrastructural support for one to achieve a high degree of consistency at the top. This is precisely where the importance of BCCI as a cohesive unit comes into focus.

This is in stark contrast to the abysmal manner the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) functions. Most of the dynamic measures that the policy makers announce end up as lip service aimed at pleasing the galleries and instill a momentary sense of optimism among the athletes, nothing more.

There is no denying that the preparations for the Rio Olympics were far from satisfactory and the run-up to the extravaganza obnoxious. Of course, one cannot miss out the fact that tennis players, shooters and shuttlers, who were given all sops and support, performed to deplorable levels. There cannot be any excuses, as such, on that front. It is those into other disciplines who looked like they did not belong to the higher league.

It is time IOA takes a lesson or two from BCCI so that they can bring in administrative changes that are result-oriented. Sadly, there is a dearth of talent scouting exercises while budgetary allocations are peanuts. In a true extension of the adage ‘everyone loves a winner’ Indian authorities pamper the champions with money while there is none willing to invest on fresh talent or providing them platforms.

One of the possible reasons is that political intervention is too high in IOA affairs. In cricket, at least at the State level there is an active involvement of former players whereas in Olympic disciplines retired champions are an unwelcome lot. As long as political control prevails over sports bodies, Indians will end up with no more than a couple of medals at Olympics and World championships. And that is the tragic reality.

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