By CJ Nishant Tripathi
Picture 4,5 and 6 by Sandy
The sports scene in India is changing. The athletic framework is now coming at par with the western standards as the premier leagues format is taking every main stream sports, one by one. Cricket has seen a great make over with the introduction of Indian Premier League, whose success has by far surpassed all boundaries and brought laurels and new talent that has resurrected in all forms of the game. Some young blood who has proved quite promising in the international and national standards of the game owe their discovery to IPL and similar leagues only.
This league fashion has not just stayed limited to cricket, but soon other games like badminton, hockey and most recently and highly successful, our own home grown ‘Kabbadi’. And it has only proved to be helpful in bringing fame and recognition to the players, hidden talent throughout the country, and the game itself. These leagues are standardized, well televised and highly commercial forms of athletics that not only provide a platform to incorporate a broader range of athletes, but also gain a lot of interest and fan following to the games involved.
Premier league matches are short timed, interesting and pack a lot of nail biting action which have a great and commercial value since they attract viewers across all ages and genders. Take an example of a supposed male-oriented game, cricket. The traditional test and ODI format might hold its charm to the avid enthusiasts of the sport but the new T 20-20 format, highly brandished in the IPL matches, have attracted a broad female following too. Following the footsteps of cricket to venture into league tournaments, sports like badminton, hockey, kabbadi, snooker and others have done quite well for themselves too. Recently, the soccer league in India, Indian Super League has also been announced on an international level, inviting high class international players from around the world, at the same time giving the national talent a chance to come at par with the western standards in this game.
“He didn’t even know what kabbadi was till the day Kabbadi Premier League started, and now it’s a hit in their school as they avidly play it” said Suman, talking about her 10 year old who now enjoys the games that she herself used to play in her school time. Such is the influence of these league games that they have transpired across ages as well. And that has further inspired these young kids to participate in these forgotten games and resurrect new life into them. Soon will be the time that these league games would push their limits and further spread through other games and bring them in lime light as well.
Let’s take a tour of the nation wide spread craze of league matches and their ripple effect to the states as they catch the wave and localize these leagues on a state level. Jammu and Kashmir is also getting in tune with the fashion is caught on in the state stadiums are leagues are formed to participate in the district and constituency level games and tournaments. Recently Minister for Planning and Development, Labour and Employment, Ajay Sadhotra declared Marh Premier League, T20 cricket format for Marh constituency in Jammu. It’s only a matter of time when other games like fencing, polo and ‘kho-kho’ will catch on with the trend and come out of their dying spells, in a big and commercial form.