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India: Truth, Facts & Cricket
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
A cricket game

Whereas, the craze for the games like Football & Tennis is getting momentum in American & other European countries, the cricket fever is in full swing in the Asian countries. Especially, the cricket is everything in South Asian countries. The countries like Bangladesh & Sri Lanka have not only organized their cricket teams but they are throwing a challenge to the world teams in cricket also. Undoubtedly the media has played an important role to make cricket popular in Asian countries. The most important role has been played by the increasing network of the television. At present cricket has become everything. Cricket has entered in the life of a common man. But how far it is proper that the few professionals have taken rights to telecast the cricket matches?

In the last days, a Twenty-20 world cup in cricket was organized in South Africa. Although all the matches were thrilling & interesting but two Semifinals & a Final caused a shivering sensation to the lovers of cricket, the Semifinals were between India Vs Australia & Pakistan Vs New Zealand & the final was between India & Pakistan. These matches were a centre of excitement for the public. But the common people couldn't watch matches being telecast. The reason was that a TV channel company has bought all the rights to telecast it. It simply means that only that TV channel can telecast these matches that have got rights to telecast the cricket World Cup. If we talk about the countries of Southern Asia, especially India, Pakistan & Bangladesh, we see that most of its population lives in villages. Those people mostly lack the television ownership. Generally the national programmes are telecast on their TV sets. Whereas the only private channel that has got the rights to telecast the World Cup, can't be received unless there is a cable network. If there is no cable network, the dish available in the market, being sold by many companies can be made use of to watch the matches. But all these things whether cable network or dish can only be made available by the rich people or by the dwellers of the cities.

As it was observed that on one side, there was a final match between the traditional cricket rivals India & Pakistan, being fought in the playground & on the other side, the common people were craving to watch the final on their TVs. This match was not being telecast by the Indian Doordarshan. Undoubtedly, the electronic media & different TV channels have molded themselves in the globalization. It is also true that profession can't be linked with the feelings. But, can this so called professionalism, ban the rights of watching a thrilling match of players of one's own country? Can the rule of telecast not be liberalized to the extent that the people of the country, whose players are playing the match to see it? Or the national TV channel is available for the people of the country? If there can't be such a setup then what else can it be called but only a planned conspiracy against the people of that country? Clearly this electronic media aroused the interest of the people by its open telecast in the beginning. When the people became habitual of inebriation, some professionals deprived them to watch by buying the rights to telecast. This professional maneuvering means that if someone wants to watch the match, he must arrange for the dish, may not for his bread & butter.

This craze for watching cricket matches has given good chances of earning to professionals & at the same time, it has compelled India to turn again towards its golden age of games. The hockey which kept itself as a national game of the country is being forgotten by the people of India. From 1928 to 1956, it was golden age of hockey. During this period, India played 24 matches & won all of them. India scored 178 goals in all. It means the average score was 7.43. Hockey is the only game in which India won 8 Gold Medals. The highest award of games in India is the Arjun Award. By now, only hockey players succeeded to secure this award maximum number of times. Today we are well known to the names of Sachin Tendulkar & Saurav Ganguly. But it was an age when the names such as Dhyanchand, K D Singh Babu, Pragat Singh, Ajit Pal Singh, Gagan Ajit Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Bhaskaran, Aslam Sher Khan, as players of hockey were well known in the world.

First of all Indian hockey federation was organized in 1928 in Gwalior. Hockey team was the first team to go on world tour in 1932. It toured places such as, Malaya, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Omaha, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paraguay, Budapest etc. & brought credit to India. Undoubtedly, the revolution in media has enabled us to know instantly about the games of the world level players, their records & their extraordinary talents. But there was the golden age of hockey & electronic media was in its infancy, even at that time the name of Dhyanchand was well known by the people of the world. The world record in 1936 in Berlin Olympics set by Indian Hockey team has not reached yet. In this match there were 38 goals in all. Out of these, 11 goals were scored by the captain of Indian hockey team Dhyanchand. Dhyanchand was called the magician of hockey stick.

The man who wished to win the world was Hitler. He was a dictator & once at the time of the dinner, he put a proposal before Dhyanchand. He offered him the title of Colonel, if he accepted the citizenship of Germany. But Dhyanchand, who was a patriot to the backbone & full of Indian ideology, refused this offer. Because of hockey, the name of Dhyanchand touched the heights that Bradman's in Cricket & Pele's in Football. The adorers of Dhyanchand crossed all the limits in Vienna. A statue of Dhyanchand has been set up in the memory of Dhyanchand in Vienna in which he has been shown with four hands & a hockey stick in each hand. The people of Vienna say that a man with two hands & a stick can't play hockey as Dhyanchand used to play. So it is proper to show him in this form.

Anyhow, India has won the Twenty-20 World Cup in Cricket. Before it, India was the winner of World Cup in Cricket in 1983. It was an event that happened 24 years ago. Undoubtedly, the cricket players of India deserve to be congratulated for this success. But the fame of the success of Cricket, ignoring the success in Hockey & this craze for the Cricket & to fall a prey to a professional circle, doesn't look proper.

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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.






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