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With the Indian cricket team having dominated the sport for the last few decades, cricket enjoys a huge audience in the country. But obsession with one entity often leads to the negligence of other entities.

“Why is Connaught Place so empty today? It’s Sunday.” “India are playing Pakistan today. Everyone’s at home.” – overheard while strolling in the Inner Circle last year during the Cricket World Cup.

Players being worshipped as gods, thousands turning up to watch matches, millions across the country watching on television, crackers being burst after wins, effigies and posters being burnt after losses, cricket has surpassed the definition of a mere “game” or a “sport” in the country, cutting across caste and creed and rising to become a significant part of Indian culture. “Everyone wants a piece of them, to touch them, shake their hands, be seen with them, and introduce their kids to them”, is how ex-national team coach John Wright describes the Indian public’s adoration for its cricketers in his book Indian Summers.

With the sport wielding a great deal of power in the country, cricket has become a magnet for money. An enormous amount of money is exchanged between players and brands in the form of sponsorships and endorsements. Companies are ready to part with millions in order to sponsor tournaments and bilateral series’. Vivo bought the title sponsorship of the glamorous Indian Premier League for a whopping 2200 crore rupees. The powerful governing body of Indian cricket, the Board Of Control Of Cricket In India (BCCI) alone is worth in excess of 13000 crore rupees, a huge chunk of it coming from match broadcasting rights.

Pockets filled with money, the BCCI has left no stone unturned in setting up a thriving Indian cricket system, with the organisational structure going down to the grassroots. Thus there is no dearth of talent, and the country’s junior teams produce talented match winners every year. Cricket’s dominance in India has led to the dominance of India in cricket. Both are inter-related and sometimes, gains in the latter also lead to gains in the former.

Though it would be wrong to opine that other sports have a negligible presence across the nation – the country has produced numerous other successful sportspersons in a diverse range of sporting fields in its history – no other sport comes close in terms of the viewership and financial support that cricket enjoys in India. Football is popular in the country, but the majority of viewers tune in to watch European football and not Indian football. Most domestic league matches are played in near-empty stadiums and the national team languishes at 108th in the world rankings.

India’s dismal showings at the Olympics, with a tally of only 2 medals at the 2016 Rio Games, despite being the second most populated country in the world, is a proof of the considerable disparity between cricket and other sports in the country. Hockey, the national game, a sport in which the country tasted a significant amount of success in the last century, has dwindled greatly in popularity, with the national team not having won an Olympic medal since 1980. Sports like tennis, badminton, wrestling, shooting, chess, boxing are popular in many parts of the country but do not enjoy the mass pan-India viewership of cricket. “I have observed that a newspaper usually devotes two whole pages to cricket coverage while other sports are given half a page at the most”, said Urnavo Chakrabarty, a University Of Delhi student and a state level athlete.

Infrastructure significantly affects the progress of a sport. A sport which doesn’t enjoy mass viewership often lacks financial resources, which leads to limited infrastructure and equipment. Raw talent or potential is not enough to compete at the international level and good infrastructure, equipment and coaches are necessary to harvest this potential. As with cricket, the popularity of a sport in a country and the country’s performance in that particular sport are inter-related. The more popular a sport, the more the amount of revenue generated. Money is needed to bolster the cash strapped sports organizations in the country. And going vice versa, continued successes in a sport will assuredly boost its popularity.

There have been numerous initiatives to promote other sports in the country with the conception of franchise leagues, similar to the IPL model, and though many did not pan out successfully, some like the Pro Kabaddi League and the Indian Super League have garnered considerable – if not mass –  popularity and are a step in the right direction.

The obsession of the country’s public with cricket is not to be seen in a negative light, but this obsession should not act as a detriment to other sports. Other sports are equally interesting if advertised properly and if cricket can enjoy mass support and success, so can any other sport.

It would be a refreshing change to enquire about the emptiness of Connaught Place on a Sunday, and be told that it’s because the Indian hockey team is playing an Olympic final.

Featured Image Credits – ESPN CricInfo

Araba Kongbam

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What are the different connotations that sports hold for us? Have its horizons expanded to accepting women, and how successful is it now?

29th August is celebrated as the National Sports Day, dedicated to the sportspersons and their hard work. It is a day to commemorate their contributions towards playing for our country and winning laurels. But, in reality, it is a day to celebrate popular sportsmen like Virat Kohli, with huge cults around them and few popular sports like cricket, which have a massive viewer-base. With a few days still left to this important day, why not realign our horizons and shift our focus?

PV Sindhu, Dutee Chand, Mithali Raj, Deepika Kumari, Tanlai Narzary, the Phogat sisters – over the past few years, Indian sportswomen have created a name and distinct space for themselves. However, the recognition from people still seems to be a far-fetched dream. But movies like Dangal and Mary Kom haved helped in garnering traction to and some attention towards their struggles. With these films, not only did they gain more recognition, but it also tackled the ideas of social stigma attached to women in sports.

Recently, there was a celebratory parade for the four-time Women’s World Cup Champions in the United States of America. This event is significant given that, not just in our country, but all over the world, women’s sporting events are disregarded. The idea behind this attitude often stems from the belief that their performance is not at par with those of the sportspersons in men’s sporting events. The only focus, if given at all, is upon their clothes and their outburst. 

Tennis, which is one of the only sporting places where women are seen as equals, also tends to gain attention only when Serena Williams displays her anger. What this normal emotion of rage is linked to is the idea of how women are ‘too emotional’. Women are represented in the light of being too sensitive in magazines and news pieces. What we do not realise is that this discrimination in terms of behaviour, pay, and popularity only pushes women to the background. 

The problems extend further to the lack of funding and even basic training conditions. Stories of sportspersons having to sell their medals to earn money, because they are not provided with anything, have become commonplace. Many talented sportswomen are not trained in the first place, due to the many obstacles that lie ahead.

Female products-oriented companies will now sponsor their events, in the big leagues, more companies now want to be front-of-shirt sponsors. India’s Dutee Chand opened up about her sexuality as a queer person recently, and fought the backlash she received from her village, in order to make a more inclusive environment for others like her. Megan Rapinoe has also come out with her partner, Sue Bird. These mark historic steps for our country and the way sportswomen demand respect. 

In a country like India, ideas of equality cannot be implemented immediately because of how our society thinks. But movies become an important access point to normalise this. The film, Chak De India, recently completed twelve years since its release. Despite being a decade old, its plot and issues remain relevant. It deals with women not being allowed to play sports, women’s teams being deprioritised, being considered at an inferior status from the men’s team, among other issues.

What has opened up today is a dialogue. Newspapers talking about the starkly different salaries for Kohli and Mithali Raj, advertisements campaigns trying to spread awareness – there are some of the things contributing to it. This dialogue may have just begun, but it could soon lead to equality among sportspersons of all genders. Maybe soon, people will stick to their televisions for a Women’s Cricket World Cup tournament, as they did for the one played by men.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Shivani Dadhwal

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The admission process of University of Delhi for the academic session of 2019 has begun. With this, candidates applying for sports quota have the coveted seats up for  grabs. The process is tedious and long, and requires the candidates to go through the requisite trials in their preferred discipline.

Here we will breakdown the whole process into concise steps:

REGISTRATION

The process begins with candidates registering themselves by filling up the online application forms available on the DU University of Delhi (DU)  Undergraduate (UG) portal. They can apply for a maximum number of three games/sport(s). The candidates have to submit an additional fee of Rs. 100 to apply in the sports category. 

The admission is based on two categories 

       1. Direct admission without Sports Trial

The candidate should have represented India in — Olympic Games (IOC), World championship or World Cup by International Sports Federation (ISF), Commonwealth Games by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Asian Games by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Asian Championships (ISF), South Asian Games (SAG) by South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) and/or Paralympic Games by International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to be eligible for this category. They should be recognized and funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS).  

  1. Admission On the Basis Of Sports Trial

The admission process under this category requires candidates to go through two stages:

  1. Merit/Participation Sports certificate for 40 marks

The candidates can upload their self-attested copies of three merit sports certificate. However, only the highest value certificate will be considered for the marking. The certificate should fall between the timeline of 01st May 2016 to 30th April 2019 to be considered. The minimum marks required to be eligible for the sports trial is 04.

       2. Sports Trial for 60 marks

The three broad categories of sports in which participants can apply are: team games, dual and combat sports, and individual sports.  The team games include Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Handball, Hockey, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Netball, Softball, and Volleyball. The dual and combat sports include badminton, boxing, Judo, squash, table-tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and wrestling. The individual sports include Archery, Athletics, Chess, Diving, Gymnastics, shooting, swimming and weight-lifting.

 

The sports trials will be held in the last week of June. The venue and the timings will be uploaded on the DU website.

The participant can only appear in one event/position/weight category and they should secure a minimum of 30 marks in the sports trials to be eligible for consideration in sports merit list, which will be further forwarded to the colleges.

RESULTS
The list of finally selected applicants will be displayed on the college website for three days. The marks of the sports certificates and sports trials will be displayed on the dashboard of the applicants as well. It is also mandatory for the candidates to submit an undertaking on Non-judicial Stamp paper of INR 100/- stating that he/she will play for the college and University during the course of three years.

Points to be noted:

  • Admission of candidate is solely based on the availability of seats in a course in the college.
  • An applicant’s name appearing in the sports merit list doesn’t guarantee admission in a college.
  • Any grievances pertaining to the marks shall be addressed by the UG Sports Grievance Committee.
  • Any injury/casualty suffered by the applicant during trial will be their sole responsibility.  

Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat

 

Antriksha Pathania
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The eleventh season of the Indian Premier League is set to start from the 7th April. One can admit that it has been no less than a festival, celebrated for almost two months every year since the past decade.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a sensation in the world of cricket. The much beloved tournament has completed ten successful years, and is about to enter in its eleventh year on the 7th of April.

Idealized by Mr. Lalit Modi, the introduction of the event was a massive hit among the viewers since the very beginning. After all, who thought that players from different countries rivalling each other at the international level could play together? It was a big example of sportsmanship, friendship, and fraternity.

Over the years, it has served one of the major purposes it was introduced for. The tournament has been significant in terms of helping talented young players earn fame and money while benefitting Indian cricket simultaneously. A lot of players having good seasons in the IPL have gone on to represent the national team. The success of this sporting contest to help identify future stars has led various other nations to introduce similar tournaments, some of them being the Pakistan Super League, and the Caribbean Premier League.

But it has not been a smooth ride for IPL all the way. There were cases of match-fixing by players and team owners, which put the tournament in jeopardy. Experts and pundits all over the world criticized the level of corruption in the league that was defaming the spirit of cricket. One shocking incident was the suspension of two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two years due to match fixing allegations. Also, the engagement of players from various nationalities in such a hectic and tiring tournament raised concerns over their fitness and commitment towards their national team.

But against all odds, IPL has made its way through to the 11th season, much to the delight of cricket lovers. This season is highly anticipated, particularly because of the return of the two suspended teams. Also, there has been a complete revamp of the teams in an auction that was held in January. Fans are excited to see new players playing for the teams they are rooting for, while a shuffle in the team composition means that many players will fight it out against their older franchises in the upcoming season.

A lot has been said, done, and discussed up to this point. But all eyes will now lay on the tournament which is expected to deliver to the hype with thrilling matches and some good cricket. As it has always been the case with IPL, viewers can now just wait and witness all the different surprises the tournament will unfold in this season.

 

Feature Image Credits: India.com

Karan Singhania

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After his largely successful tenure as the mentor of the national team for more than a year, Anil Kumble has decided to call it a day, citing professional indifferences with the captain as the reason of the decision.

After the humiliating Champion’s League final defeat by a margin of 180 runs of the Indian team at The Oval in London at the hands of Pakistan, a major announcement for the fans around the nation was in store. On Tuesday evening, Anil Kumble announced his resignation from the office of  the Head Coach of the national team. This announcement came out after his widely speculated feud with Virat Kohli and the persistent reports that Kohli and company was not comfortable with his coaching style. In the resignation letter that surfaced later the night, Kumble said that he was “surprised” by Kohli’s “reservations” since he had “always respected the role boundaries between captain and coach”.He wrote that “Professionalism, discipline, commitment, honesty, complementary skills and diverse views are the key traits I bring to the table. These need to be valued for the partnership to be effective. I see the coach’s role akin to ‘holding a mirror’ to drive self-improvement in the team’s interest. In light of these ‘reservations’, I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and BCCI deem fit. He further added that, “Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstanding between the captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on.”

These developments followed unequivocal outcry from the Indian cricketing community as many veterans credited Kumble for his contributions to the team being critical at the same time of the superstar culture in the team. Former Indian player Bishan Singh Bedi supported Kumble’s decision of stepping down as the head coach of the Virat Kohli-led Indian team. “It was a job well done and he didn’t get into the limelight while going about it. He got the results. Can anyone challenge that? Kumble was not sitting idle. This is not a happy development for Indian cricket,” said Bedi in an exclusive chat with NDTV. According to another report by NDTV, Sunil Gavaskar was quoted as saying “India have won everything since the time Anil took over. I can’t see Anil doing much wrong in one year. Difference happen in any team but see at the results. If any of the players are complaining, I feel those players are the ones who should be left out of the team.”

In addition to this coaching stint which saw India reclaim the top Test spot, Jumbo has always been acclaimed for his never-say-die attitude towards cricket. His 10 wicket haul against Pakistan on 7th February, 1999 at Feroz Shah Kotla and the way he braved a broken jaw to bowl 14 overs on the final day of the Antigua Test against West Indies in 2002 quite portray the personality he is.

 

Image Credits- Indian Express

 

Nikhil Kumar

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Clash of Departments is an inter-department sports event organised by the Business Economics Department of Aryabhatta College. With the recent conclusion of the world’s most iconic sports event, the Business Economics students of Aryabhatta College were able to frame the first ever ultra sports event in the college. The students of the department took a bold initiative and planned to organise an inter-departmental sports event named Clash of Departments (COD) across its campus. A week-long event, it was initially to be conducted in the last of August, but was postponed to the first week of September due to monsoon rains. The three-day event was organised without any kind of permission from the administration of the college. Ten courses participated with ten to twelve students in each departmental team. The event included sports like – football, cricket, volleyball, table tennis, and carrom. The inaugural football match was kicked off in rain, charging the atmosphere of the campus. There were more spectators than anticipated; even the professors missed their classes to catch a glimpse of the game. Amidst the nail-biting game and adrenalin rush, it was difficult even for the referees to penalise the players. The games progressed and winners were announced. After being on their toes the whole match, students of Hindi honours won the cricket finals. Business Economics students won the football finals against economics students with a score of 2-0 in the penalty round. A duo from B.Com honours won the table tennis finals, whereas a team of three clinched the carrom title. Students from Business Economics were on fire as they stole the show in the volleyball match as well. “This huge game plan was not an easy task to handle, but the efficiency and dedication of the organisers and their team effort turned it into a reality. I think it was the best we could do to relieve ourselves from the study load and look away from the entire election nuisance. It exceeded expectations as for the first time in my college life, I could see the college united as one.” said the mastermind of this event, Sandesh Choudhary, a second-year business economics student. The initiative was appreciated by the participants as well, “It was a great step by the business economics department. The best part was the variety of sports and the excellent organisation in such a short period of time. However, more time should have been allotted for the teams to prepare and practice. Then again, sometimes adrenaline overcomes preparation,” said Syed Shabee Rahman, a first-year economics student. Banking on the success of this event, the department students are looking forward to putting together a sports fest in the month of October too. Gerush Bahal [email protected]]]>

With cricket fever as rampant as ever on the eve of the India-South Africa Test series, DU’s first inter college cricket tournament for this session came to an end on the 2nd of November 2015. The tournament that commenced on the 27th of September was yet again an exemplar of the budding talent that exists in the DU cricket circuit. The 41 matches that were played in the conventional 50 over format saw 7 centuries, 47 half centuries, over 550 wickets and nearly 11,500 runs scored making it one of DU’s finest tournaments till date. Ashish Tokas was the tournament’s top scorer scoring over 300 runs in total whereas Navendu Sharma was the bowler to watch out for having claimed 21 wickets. Victories on average were by a narrow margin, with the match between SGND Khalsa College and NSIT ending with the former winning by only a single run, but some matches also saw massive differences in score lines. Shaheed Bhagat Singh defeated Zakhir Hussain by 163 runs after they themselves lost to Deshbandhu by a 140 runs in the initial stages of the tournament.

 

Image Credits: CricketGraph
Image Credits: CricketGraph

 

The grand finale on the 2nd of November was played between the two teams who have established themselves as the powerhouses of the DU cricketing circuit over the last couple of years. Swami Shraddhanand College  defeated their archrivals Aryabhatta for the third consecutive year in a row to retain the bragging rights for one more year. With an impressive target of 301 set in the first innings and an excellent display of bowling, Swami Shraddhanand cruised to victory defeating Aryabhatta by 103 runs and completed a hatrick of University titles.

 

Image Credits: Cricket Graph
Image Credits: CricketGraph

Featured Image credits- CricketGraph

Shraman Ghosh
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The early days of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as many of us will remember was structured around the concept of city loyalties; it used to be a case of nurturing city allegiances, cultivating home grown talent and embellishing regional ‘Icon players’ in a whole new T-20 light. However, moving into the 7th edition of the IPL, a lot seems to have changed. The crowd that was initially sucked in this regional pull of the IPL now seems to be complaining about a lack of local flavour in their respective teams. Is their claim legitimate? Or, is the average enthusiast reading too much into the game?

For a few years now, there have been some gradual shifts and rearrangements amongst the team rosters. Constantly shifting bases, many people argue that most of the teams no longer support their own local players . Chennai has had the best score in this regard, as they continue to play all three local players; Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and R Ashwin, together on a regular basis. However, by todays standards, sporting 3 local players can be called a rarity. “Team captains are supposed to be the representatives of a team. Watching Virat Kohli represent Bangalore and Gautam Gambhir represent Kolkata really annoys me sometimes.” said one ardent Delhi Daredevils supporter.

Virat-Kohli-Gautam-Gambhir
Virat Kohli from RCB and Gautam Gambhir from KKR

And if these reactions were rather latent in these last few years, some recent developments definitely seem to be guiding this sense of alienation towards more vocal expressions of dissatisfaction. Due to clashing dates with the Lok Sabha elections, the 1st leg of IPL-7  had shifted its base to the United Arab Emirates. Talks of another leg in Bangladesh are also not completely off the mark. So, not only are the players not local, but now even the home ground is not really ‘home’ anymore. In such a context, how are the fans expected to have any sense of attachment to their teams.

A broad analysis of the BCCI policies (in the IPL) over the years would lead one to discover of its compromising shift from a position of promoting regional unity to one which now endorses global integration. This however, has exposed some serious double standards in their policies.In essence, what seems to be lacking amongst the committee members of the IPL is a broader and future oriented perspective on the whole issue. And since the whole topic of creating a more regional or global outlook is intricately linked with the former question of what exactly does the committee plan for IPL’s future, it seems to be abundantly clear that a solution to the former would naturally create an answer for the latter. Therefore, the need for a defining stand will not only help the committee develop a more clear perspective on matters, but also lead to many more bright prospects for the sake of the IPL as well as its followers.

imagecourtesy:ipl.com

The night of 6th April saw the repeat of the 2011 Cricket World Cup final in the Twenty20 format as India met Sri Lanka in an all-Asian final. The game was highly anticipated what with the huge fan-following the game enjoys, especially in the Indian subcontinent.

Sri Lanka reached the finals with the Rain Gods turning in their favour as the semi-final between West Indies and Sri Lanka was abandoned due to rain and the Lankans were judged the winners by the Duckworth-Lewis Method. India had had a very strong run in the competition with a hundred percent winning record in the tournament this year. The Indian side overcame a massive total of 172 runs set up South Africa in the Semi-final to win the game with 5 balls to spare. Virat Kohli shined through the game knocking an unbeaten 72 runs off 44 balls to clinch the match.

If Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team went on to win the final, it would be the first team ever in the history of the sport to hold all the major titles in its trophy cabinet, having won the One-Day World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy last year. The odds appeared to be in favour of the Indian side as Sri Lanka had faced a cursed streak in major trophy finals in the past, losing the One-Day World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011 and the Twenty20 World Cup final in 2009 and 2012.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were the openers for the Indian side. Rahane once again took an early exit to the dressing room with 3 runs off 8 balls. Virat Kohli delivered a note worthy performance yet again, again knocking 77 runs off 58 balls. The disappointment for the Indian side turned out to be the usually reliable, Yuvraj Singh, whose hard-hitting style is world renowned. He was only able to gather 11 runs off 21 balls much to the frustration of Indian fans, pretty evident from the scenes in the stadium. Overall, India put up a below-par total of 130 runs for 4 wickets.

Sri Lanka’s innings was a perfect example of the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race” as Kumar Sangakkara hit 52 runs for 32 balls remaining unbeaten to clinch the title for the Lankans and to conclude his T20 career in a perfect way. Sri Lanka won the match by 6 wickets.

The Lankans finally broke their curse in the finals much to the disappointment of the 1 billion supporters in India. Sangakkara was named the Man of The Match for match-winning innings while Virat Kohli got a well-deserved Player of the Series award for his batting prowess.

Image courtesy: sports.ndtv.com

S.G.T.B Khalsa organized it’s annual cricket tournament- 2nd Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fatesingh T20 Cricket Tournament. The cricketing event commenced on February 10 and it’s finals were held on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. One of the biggest cricket tournaments of the University, it saw participation of 12 teams from across colleges. The event was declared open by Bishan Singh Bedi on February 10. Its finals, saw Swami Shraddhanand (SSN) College emerge as winners against M.K. Group. The former set a target of 182 which the latter lost by 18 runs.

The winning team got a total cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 and the runner’s up took home Rs. 50,000. The finals and the award ceremony was attended by Cricketers Ajay Jadeja and Ajit Jadeja and Mr. Jitendre Lal, member Gujrat Chamber of Commerce. International Cricket Umpire, K. Hariharan, was also present at the event.

Krishnaraj Lal, Vice President, Khalsa, had the following to say, “As a student of such a prestigious college, it’s an honor to be a part of the Union. Mr. Jadega’s father served as an MP from my city, Jamnagar for 5 terms. So having Mr. Ajay Jadeja here is an even greater privilege. We are glad to have pulled off this event. Between juggling Lashkara (Khalsa’s Cultural Fest) and creating a bigger and better tournament, it has been nothing less than a challenge”.