The idea that Indian cricket is totally responsible for the non emergence of other sports is a brutal misconception.
Cricket, many believe, takes the limelight and is the reason why other sports such as hockey, football and basketball are not developing. It surely is beautiful topic to debate on.
But, is cricket really responsible?
Many factors seem to be responsible...
The Passion for Cricket.
Blame this beautiful sport.
Every night, millions of children sleep dreaming about this wonderful sport they will be playing when the dawn breaks.
Every day, millions of hearts of young mother’s pain as their children forgo lunch to imitate their idols on the cricket field.
Every evening, millions of soap loving wives quarrel with their husbands who come home and relax by watching cricket. In every house, you will find a cricket bat and if the parents cant afford it, they just have to paint "MRF" on a piece of wood and give them. I am not complaining, just blame the sport.
Unlike in other countries, sport in India is just an extra-curricular activity. Every parent insists that their child studies and become an engineer or a doctor. Sports take a back seat when the child completes the ninth grade with the focus shifting to studies and career. By nature, Indians like to be secured and do not take risk.
There is a sports Ministry in India, but only as an employment option for an MP (Member of Parliament).
They do nothing much to develop sport for they have time only for filling their bank accounts.
This leaves only the corporate world to sponsor and develop sports in India.
The Impact of the Corporate World
Every corporation’s final goal is to earn profits. And they venture only into profitable prospects.
In India, cricket seems to be the most profitable venture. We have no right to question their interests.
The Emergence of Talent in Cricket
Cricket officials did what no other sports committee did: They went into every corner of every village in India to find new talent, and they were quite successful.
The present Indian team mainly consists of players from small towns.
India had more stars in cricket than any other sport. This did not help those sports. Bhaichung Bhutia was good but he was no Ronaldinho. Bhupathi and Paes were talented but they were no Sampras and Federer. Sania is brave, but she is no Hingis.
Whereas Tendulkar and Dravid were great and had no equals.
The main sports page in Indian newspapers has but only Cricket news. Even the national football league has little coverage. Cricket is preferred to tennis and soccer. that’s what sells in India and therefore it's what the papers offer.
The Physique and Climate
This in an important factor. The Indians do not take to basketball because of height factor. It may not matter physically but it surely does psychologically.
In most parts of India, with the exception of north and northeast, the climate is very hot. Children are not allowed by their parents to run much in those trying conditions. Here again only one game fits. It's no small wonder that most footballers emerge only from northeast.
All the above factors play an important role in cricket overshadowing other sports.
But then sport has no barrier. Yes! Hidden somewhere in some orthodox Indian home, is a star sportsman (a la Ronaldinho or Federer or Kobe or Phelps) just waiting for an opening.
God save that star. God save Indian sport.