In the light of the hue and cry over Virendar Sehwag being dropped or rested from the Indian cricket team, are we giving too much importance to cricket? Would there have been a similar uproar if, say, Sandeep Singh was dropped from the Indian hockey team or Leander Paes was removed from the Davis cup squad? NXg asked a few youngsters, some from the sporting field, on what they felt.
Honestly, I don't watch any of these debates on TV. So, I don't have any complaints about the media making so much of an issue about say a Virender Sehwag being dropped or rested whatever is the reason. I am not inclined even to think whether there will be such a debate on any other sport if some big name is dropped. There is a lot of negativity too in this as far as cricket is concerned because of the commercial aspect. And, this is not the case with other sports.
Koneru Humpy, World No. 2, Chess
In India, we consider hockey, tennis, and badminton as sports But cricket is not a sport here. Sandeep Singh, Mahesh Bhupah, Sania Mirza are sportspersons but Sachin Tendulkar is not! But to be fair there is no fault in such a belief. America always gives more importance to baseball than soccer; Germany gives more importance to soccer than tennis... And if someone needs to be guilty it's the Sports Authority of India. It is their duty to build up the infrastructure for all sports in the country and bring in sponsorship which they have clearly failed to do in all cases but cricket. The common man eats what is fed to him.
VINAYAK , III Year , SRM University
There would be muted response if Sandeep Singh was dropped from the hockey team because Indians barely know who he is. The funny thing is, it's our national sport. But, rather than Paes, if Mahesh Bhupathi was dropped from the Davis Cup team, it would result in massive speculation. After all, he's married to Lara Dutta! My point is, Indian society is completely fixated on cricket (and cinema) which is unhealthy for the development of sports within the country.
Too much importance to cricket is an understatement in a country like India where cricket is a religion. Criticism against cricketers, even if true, is considered preposterous. In the shadow of cricket, other sports are generally of not much significance. The exclusion of Leander Paes from the Davis Cup or Sandeep Singh from Hockey would create a ripple, but nothing compared to cricket simply because Indians don't acknowledge the presence of such players, when they too bring a lot of fame and appreciation to the country. Well, it's a sad life for the sportsman who is representing India in any other sport but cricket!
AMAARA HAANI, MGR University
These sort of debates on cricket never surprise for the simple reason that cricket continues to be the most popular sport. At the same time, we have our own identity and I am happy with that. Obviously, whatever they (cricketers and officials) do is always news. I have no complaints in this regard. And at the same time I not sure whether such a debate would have taken place for any other sport!
SAINA NEHWAL, Badminton player
We live in a nation which breathes cricket so hype like this around Sehwag's exclusion is acceptable. Moreover people care a little less about hockey or tennis or any other sport for that matter. This is disappointing. But a few years down the line all the other sports in India will also get the same kind of importance.
NIMISH JAIN, SRM University
Without a doubt it's an unnecessary uproar! In my opinion people in India should calm down, leave it to the selectors to do their job, and spaces in the print media and time slots in TV channels used for the much more deserving sports and sportspersons!
DIPIKA PALLIKAL, Squash Player
As told to V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM, S.R. SURYANARAYAN, GAURAV DANGI