CRICKET……!this word is so important for India.i think it comes right after roti,kapda aur makan!its a religion,every kid in india wants to be sachin tendulkar.i personally hate cricket,i find it unbelievably boring.the only thing i admire about it is THE GOD- SACHIN TENDULKAR.the little master has made the whole world run on the tunes of his bat.hes a maharashtrian,coming from a very humble background.his humility and conduct are awe inspiring.but barring that it fails to impress me or nothing about it excites me.its been a debate in india about how all the other games in india always get neglected and how we have no sponsors and attention given to players not playing cricket.badminton is facing the same situation today!it almost pisses me off.
badminton i think in the present times is having the most successful run.i think after prakash sir and gopichand,we have never had a string of so many noticeable performances in the history of badminton.saina is right now the face of indian badminton undoubtedly,and she deserves all the attention and accolades.but even if you look at indian badminton after her performances we have so many of them.the indian men have 4 guys in the top 50,aarvind bhat,anup sridhar,chetan anand,p.kashyap.they all are doing well.the mens team has been amongst the top 8 for the last 2 editions and playing quarters consistently in the thomas cup.we are amongst the top 8 in the whole world.its a huge thing!similarly in the women we qualified for the first time in the history of indian badminton this year for the finals of the uber cup and landed up reaching the quarters!it was one of the proudest moments for all of us seeing our flag out there with the top teams in the world.
in the women i am ranked 36 in the world after saina,there are around 3 more girls in the top 100.i have played two grand prix finals,i landed up playing the asian badminton championships quarterfinals this year.i have run very close to beating the top 20 players in the world and have some wins against them too.im not trying to advertise myself but what i am trying to say is that badminton deserves the nations notice as a game and all of us who are working so hard.sayali and trupti both have won challenger events and inching closer towards the top 50 bracket.
the recent junior performances have been so encouraging.p.v. sindhu played the quarterfinals in the junior world championships,similarly we had two guys sai praneeth and prannoy playing the semis in the same tournament.its an incredible thing to have two players playing semifinals in the world champs.both sindhu and sai have qualified for the youth olympics as well.our mixed doubles pair of jwala and diju have played super series finals,have won grand prixs and gold grand prix events.they are in top 15 in the world.
i think after reading about all these performances i am wondering why still badminton as a game is not getting its due.as players we cant do anything more really.we all are working hard,we all are performing.in the world of badminton the indian contigent today is looked upto!everyone is taking us so much more seriously.when we enter the stadium as a team or when we are practicing,teams like china,korea,japan look at us inquisitively!i will elaborate a little on this.we had to play korea in the league in the uber cup.ofcourse having saina with us is always does wonders because she just refuses to lose,i had to play the second singles.the korean i played is the super series finalist and i almost beat her losing the third game on 15.similarly sayali played next and she lost in three games to the third singles player.my point here is when we enter the court today,its not a given any more that a korean will win the match.they have to fight real hard to beat us,they no more can just win without effort.we have never had this before.the asians and europeans have started giving us that respect today.similarly in the mens,anup has beaten the likes of taufik,peter gade,tago,hafiz,and is an olympian.similarly the younger batch has players like anand pawar,ajay jayaram,p.kashyap and guru sai dutt who are running very close to beating the top players and you will see a host of great performances from all of them.
with all this all i mean to say is that the world has taken notice that india has arrived.we as players no more have the notion of china,korea,japan as unbeatable.we have rose in belief that we are as good as anybody in the world and if we persist we have the potential of being the worlds best.this kind of approach is new found.as players all we expect is a little bit of notice and so much more support from our people.
in india we are hungry for heroes.and today with so much of exposure it is so easy to create greatness out of mediocrity.here there is potential for real greatness but no one seems interested.we just want to run behind games which have either glamour like tennis or cricket where there is money.even though honestly speaking we dont have both we have one and the most important thing that matters PERFORMANCES.as a player i cannot be expected to market my game,or to look sexy or have excellent PR skills.thats not what i am trained for.we have marketing firms everywhere,we have corporates with loads of money to spend but they rather spend it on cricket or tennis,not really because they are better performers but just because they sell more than a badminton player who might be top 10 in the world.its really sad.badminton today has the potential of being as loved and as followed as cricket.we need to build the future of the next generation and we need to change the notion in india that if you want to play let your child play cricket or tennis,anything else is not worth your time and energy.badminton today is undoubtedly amongst the top 3 most successful sports in the country.though whos bothered they rather focus on sania and shoaibs first interview after marriage! common INDIA wake up to us! the WORLD already has!