Wednesday 17th of January 2018 11:14:53 PM Agra
Sharply differing perceptions make it rather difficult to properly assess India's standing in the world of sports today. The pessimists love to paint a gloomy picture of the Indian sports and its detractors, too, are eager to point out that for a nation of India's size and population its sporting successes are few and far between. They, however, tend to forget that in today's highly commercialised and fiercely competitive sports, mere skill and talent are not enough to ensure success in the form of medals. In this regard the developed countries have a definite edge over the developing ones for they have surplus financial resources as compared with their basic needs. They can obviously afford to spend enormous amounts of money on providing proper infrastructure, modern equipment, latest coaching and training facilities and, above all, adequate financial incentives to their sports persons. The big financial gains that sports person from the developed countries enjoy during their active career and the post-sport security available to them are the crucial factors which tilt the scale in favour of the developed countries. The proverbial wisdom that money makes the world go round applies to sports also. India's sportspersons have generally performed creditably only at the Asian and Commonwealth levels and in quite a few cases at the world level as well. India's sporting icons such as chess wizard Viswanathan Anand, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, billiards maestro Geet Sethi, tennis duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and iron women Kunjarani Devi and Karnam Malleswari are currently rated among the world's best. Gopi Chand and Aparna Popat in badminton, Jaspal Rana and Mansher Singh in shooting, Chetan P. Baboor in table tennis, Narain Karthikeyan in motor racing, Chiranjeev Milkha Singh in golf, Baichung Bhutia in football, Dhanraj Pillay in hockey and A.Maria Irudayam in carrom are some of the other contemporary Indians who have created waves with their exceptional skills to make their presence felt at the international level. All these sportspersons and many others lent prestige and splendour to the Indian sports.