June 27, 2012

The great Indian Olympian Dream

The recent controversy surrounding Leander and Mahesh is a classic case of tardy and shoddy behaviour of officials heading the various sporting bodies. All of them have one unique common thing, irrespective of the sport they represent - all of them don't give a damn for the sportsmen and/or their careers. The officials’ only concern seems to be to continue being office bearers of various sporting associations. Little do they realise that without the sportsmen, they have no job!

Given that the Olympic medal, the ultimate dream for every sportsman, requires some training and preparedness, however accomplished he/she maybe, it is therefore natural for teams or individuals to be formed at least six months in advance, if not earlier. It is therefore shocking that AITA chose to announce the team of their choice, not player's choice, with just a month left for the Games to begin.

I am certainly not privy to the internal squabbles between Mahesh and Leander and/ or the officials at AITA, but anyone with common sense will know that for a team to succeed there needs to be a good understanding and camaraderie between them. Granted that Leander and Mahesh were a great team in the past, but it’s obviously not the case now. From reports in the media, it is clear that Mahesh and Bopanna have communicated to AITA on their plans to team up for the Olympics as early as last year and they were encouraged by the AITA to play together. Therefore, it is extremely baffling to suddenly pull out teams from the hat and shock the players and public. What makes it extremely pathetic is to split the successful mixed doubles team of Mahesh and Sania who recently won a Grand Slam, only to pacify and mollify Leander’s egoJ If I were Leander Paes, I would have retired gracefully than wait for the wild card decision of Sania Mirza!!

What is extremely painful is that such games by officials are being played ever so often and in almost every sport. Often we lament on the reasons for not scoring medals in spite of being a one billion plus nation. The reasons for the poor show are certainly not the sportsmen but the brainless officials controlling the hapless sportsmen!