How fair is it to say that cricket has strangled other sports?
Despite the numerous irregularities in cricket, the level of the game prevailed while the other sports which remained under the government, their irregularities rose up to such serious deck that the game itself went into the abyss.
Cricket’s popularity in India has long been cited as a threat to other sports. There is also a section which believes that the popularity of cricket is a product of corporate houses. Cricket is a game of corporate and power, and it is played to benefit them. Therefore, this game should be resisted and its popularity should not be allowed to become intoxicating, otherwise, the ‘silverware‘ of corporate and controlling people will be lost.
But if you consider, every game has turned into a corporate one. From football to hockey, badminton, wrestling, tennis, kabaddi, corporate houses interfere in all these sports.
Are the Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, Pro Wrestling League being held without corporate intervention?
Then why to oppose corporate interference in cricket?
Various sports associations of the country which are under the government, all have the intervention of corporate bodies and leaders. In every union, they hold large positions. Allegations of economic rigging are going on in the courts within the sports association. Corruption in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is not hidden from anyone. It is said that the BCCI has got the disease of corruption, disease; that for several years till now, the Sports Ministry has not been able to implement the Sports Code in the sports associations which falls under it. Because the sports associations do not want to do, the vested interests of their officials are coming in the way. More than half of the sports associations of the country have been disbanded because of the same.
Consider the boxing federation, players enter the Olympics but not with the Indian flag, because our federation does not have the recognition of the International Boxing Association. It is just because there is corruption, there is government intervention, there is opacity.
Instead of making cricket evitable on account of the corporate interference in it, the need is to understand why this shift happened!
After all these, why the corporate houses were successful in getting entry into the games and the games rely on them? It went on because the government failed to encourage sports.
Football was supported by the government. The Indian football team played the Olympics, but where does India stand today? It has come a long way over five decades. After participating in the Olympics, we had to get up from the ground and reach the sky, but we reached Hades. Football has been gulped by the government machinery.
Basketball has become the wrestling arena of Congress-BJP in the country today. Players are searching for a future outside the country. The role of the Sports Ministry itself is questionable in the whole matter.
Weightlifting is under detention and the association itself is involved in it, according to a coach associated with weightlifting association himself. But what policy did the government make to prevent doping in weightlifting? If a coach made such serious allegations, then was it investigated?
A similar system ate hockey. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) also reveals irregularities. Who can even forget the Commonwealth scam!
We can say that when the government could not handle the games, the corporate bodies interfered. The Games needed them to raise their standards. Today, almost every well-known athlete is playing under the mercy of some corporates. They are sponsoring them and earning through their popularity. That’s why not only cricket is the game of hegemony and corporate, all sports have become the same.
The only good thing with cricket is that despite the irregularities, the level of the game is retained.