India finally was able to beat SA, nothing to gloat about though, but anyways a victory is sweet. The Proteas did put up an admirable resistance, and only due to the genius of Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh was India able to wrap it up. While watching the last rites as Sachin and Dravid were playing, had a fleeting thought that it would be a sort of poetic justice for Sachin if he deprived Dravid of a half-century after he was left stranded on 195 when Dravid had declarated in Pakistan. I realized how stupid that thought was, firstly a 50 is nowhere comparable to a 200, moreover how could I think of such a thing about Dravid, who is undoubtedly one of the most committed and professional player in the whole game.
Yesterday the sports page had a glamorous photo of GaganAjit singh surrounded by a few models, at a promotional event for the National hockey league. Good to see some marketing , hopefully it will be professionally managed, but considering the reputation of IHF, dont have much expectations. KPS Gill has got to go, his autocratic style and bureaucratic mindset wont lead Indian hockey anywhere. Heard that Sunil Dutt is unhappy with the state of affairs. The Sport Ministry should restructure the entire setup , get professional help from other boards, preferably Australia. In hockey this is possible as there isnt too much lucre involved as yet; in cricket despite the bungling BCCI the stakes are too high, with top-notch politicians and businessmen having interests. So any major shake-up is difficult. Maybe with a positive change in hockey, gradually the cricket scene will improve.
Similarly my heart bleeds for Indian football, it has a potential to be the most popular sport ,as well as a profitable proposition. Only a lot of dedication , hard-work and unity among the various organizations is required. The NFL is a step in the right direction, but currently the players still
play a lot of matches per season,the Calcutta Super League, Goan league ,Kerala leagues plus all the knockout tournaments like Rovers, Federation, IFA shield ,Durand and events like Santosh trophy etc. That dilutes the charm of the National league. The top clubs shouldnt field their first choice teams in the local city/state leagues, so that gradually only the Natnl League is given prominence. it should be expanded in scope and get good sponsorship and television, media coverage, basically a proper professional promotion. ESPN-Star seems the best bet, along with help from the UB group. Ask for help from FIFA , which would be glad to help considering its overflowing coffers and the vast market potential of India, but again the major stumbling block is the faction ridden AIFF.