Dhoni finishes off in style, it’s a magnificent strike into the crowd, India lifts the world cup after 28 years. The party has started in the dressing room. And it’s an Indian captain, who has been absolutely magnificent on the night of the finals

These words are still echoing in our ears, aren’t they? We would never forget that night when India became the world champions. In India, cricket is considered as a religion and cricketers are seen as gods. But do we give equal importance to other sports? Sports other than cricket are still struggling to find recognition.

                                                        “Sports keep your heart fit and soul strong”

Cricket and cricketers are widely cherished by people all over India. But why do we fail to even recognize and appreciate other sports and sports stars? Indians are falling prey for cricket (like students falling for engineering) even after the dirty politics behind it being exposed. This is prevailing only in India whereas in other countries all sports are equally treated. Let’s not forget that many sports were identified and played even before cricket.

For the first time in the history of badminton, we have five Indian players in the top 20 world rankings (it is a shame for us that we have to Google their names to know them). We would’ve listed the players in the exact ranking order if it had been cricket instead of badminton. All we know about badminton is Saina Nehwal winning the bronze and PV Sindhu securing silver in the Olympics. Imagine what these players would achieve if we show them at least half the support of what we show to those cricketers.

How many of us celebrated the hat trick victory of the Indian football team in the world cup qualifiers? Though we have the Hero Indian Super League it failed to gain the attention of many. The Indian Premier League has overshadowed the impact of the ISL. How many of us know that Sunil Chhetri has scored 50 goals in just 89 games with a jaw-dropping conversion rate which is the best in the list of top 10 leading goal scorers?

We never changed our WhatsApp display pictures or stories for Sania Mirza- Martina Hingis when the pair became the world number one in the mixed doubles. We never posted any congratulatory messages on Facebook when the 25-year-old Yuki Bhambri (ranked 200) ousted the defending champion and world number 22 Gael Monfils at ATP Citi open. We never praised Mariappan Thangavelu for winning gold in the recently concluded Paralympics. The salaries of other sportsmen are nowhere near what cricketers receive.

We fail to appreciate their success and hard work as they are not cricketers and they do not play cricket. This situation will change only if youngsters of our nation take up different sports and achieve great heights rather than padding up and smashing boundaries. Let us not let cricket engulf the pride of all other sports and sportsmen. Each and every parent should encourage their child to watch all sports and not only cricket. Let us not discourage cricket or cricketers for this, but let us treat everyone equally. They are not fighting to write their names in the history. They are struggling hard to make our country feel proud and stand high. They are all the servants of our country.

“PV Sindhu has done it. She has bagged the silver medal for her country. Her head is bowing to receive the medal but the nation’s head is high at this moment”

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