By Siddu Kaloji
Cricketers always make news whether they win or loose the match. But, cricketers on and off ground conduct is closely monitored by their fans.
Recently, Indian National Cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team mate Harbhajan Singh are on the headlines of newspapers and TV channels for skipping the Padma Award ceremony. It has been reported that both cricketers were busy with commercial shoot during the award presentation day.
After the universal criticism by former sportspersons and sports enthusiast, the Ministry of Sports has issued guidelines for receiving the nations prestigious Padma Awards. Today, cricket is no more a game played for national pride and entertainment. After the evolution of T20 game format, cricket has become a business like other trades.
If we see the King Khan, Preithy, Shipla, Malya and Ambani’s interest in the game, semi nude Cheer leaders dancing on the ground in the IPL tourney, no one can say that cricket is gentlemen game. It is more like a Bollywood movie with all kind of Masaala including item Song.
The auction of players, fight for telecast rights and sponsorships gives an insight about how much business is involved in this game.
The sold cricketers for actor turned businessmen, women and Industrialists have no freedom at all. They are puppets in the hands of their owners and advertising houses. The pressure on these sold cricketers is enormous. If these poor (rich) cricketers failed to live up to the expectations of their owners, they loose money and contract too.
Respecting the public outrage for skipping the Padma award presentation ceremony by Dhoni and Bhajji, the sports ministry has formulated some strict guidelines to uphold the dignity of the country’s highest civilian award. If the awardee is not turned up to receive the honour without genuine reason and prior intimation, the government can strip off the award. This should be implemented immediately to convey strong message for those sportspersons who are running behind the money and think that they are bigger than the country.