A fan’s view on sports affairs : Sports leagues are playing crucial role in making India a multi-sport nation.

For many years, Cricket is the only sport that has been
followed at such large scale and cricketers have been worshipped by masses. One
reason is the tremendous success that India has enjoyed in Cricket at the top
level, but also the financial support and exposure it has got.
It’s not like fans in India do not like other sports and
players in other sports, but they were never exposed to other sports. How can
you like something if you haven’t seen it, right?
Obviously there were some examples of occasional individual brilliance
in other sports that had caught the attention, but certainly not at the large
Things changed dramatically after 2008!
Since the launch of Indian Premier League in 2008, in the
last 10 years Indian sports industry has grown so rapidly. Success that IPL
(Cricket) got, started a revolution in India for other sports as well.
Leagues in other sports like Premier Badminton League
(badminton), Indian Super League (football), Pro Kabaddi League (kabaddi) and
Pro Wrestling League (wrestling) were started in few years after IPL and now
they have created their own audience. It is still early days, but India is now
taking steps towards becoming a multi-sport nation.
There are few very important aspects to this budding
sports-league culture in India.
First is the platform to perform, second is financial
stability and third is sports infrastructure.
Players in sports apart from Cricket never really had big platforms
to perform in front of large crowds and also the millions who watch from Home. Now
players from other sports have opportunity to show that they are equally great
in their own right. They have started getting their own fans. Not just that,
they can now use it as an opportunity to earn place in national teams as well.
With these private leagues, they got financial support which
is very crucial, because players from other sports like Kabaddi and Wrestling
used to find it very difficult to make living out of playing game they loved
and also had to work somewhere else to earn money. Now they can focus fully on
playing and developing their game.
Another important part is lethargy of Indian government
bodies towards other sports many times leaves players with poor training
facilities as we have seen during commonwealth games, but private leagues have
provided them with world-class training facilities and help of technicians and
analysts to take their games to next level.

In cricket as well,
apart from top international players, other players didn’t have as much
financial stability, facilities and exposure as they do now after IPL.

This all-round improvement will inspire more and more young
kids to take up sports.

– Onkar Karandikar

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