While cricket has long been the main focus of sports in India, there are a number of other sports that are played. In a country with such a large population, there is much potential for introducing new sports that are not yet played in India, or increasing the popularity of other sports such as soccer. Soccer has certainly had a boost in India recently. The 2014 FIFA World Cup has come at a good time to help the football enthusiasm.
Narendtra Modi has certainly shown his support for sports, and plans to ensure that sports get more organized in India. He is also hoping to stamp out the corruption that has been running rife in Indian sports. There are former cricket legends that have shown support for other sports by buying into franchises. Along with Modi and ex-cricketers, there has been much support for sports from Bollywood stars.
When it comes to the kind of support that Bollywood stars gives to sports in India, there are many different ways that this is done. Some stars will buy franchises, supporting various sporting leagues financially, and others simply promote certain sports while acting or when off screen.
Bollywood’s Akshay Kumar hosts a karate championship each year, while Suniel Shetty has been known to promote hockey as well as backing a number of other sports. Shetty said: “I believe if football, hockey and cricket… all the sports are given a boost, then it can create an alternate career option for children.”
Amitabh Bachchan, a soccer lover, has recently decided that he will aid the training of Pooja Ghatkar and Ayonika Paul, two women shooters. Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh’s son, has bought into the Pro-Kabaddi franchise in Jaipur. The professional kabaddi league also has a Mumbai franchise that was acquired by Ronnie Screwvala, the founder of the UTV Group.
With support coming from so many areas, things are certainly looking on the up and up for Indian sports.