“Sundays with Purav” is a 11 part series in collaboration with our very own, Purav Raja. Through his first hand experience of competing on the ATP Tour, Purav aims to educate Indian tennis parents, fans, and community, in general, about what our country needs to do to be called a sporting nation

Catch other episodes of “Sundays With Purav” below –

Episode 7 – Private Paisa
Episode 6 – Taare Zameen Par
Episode 5 – No Samosas Please
Episode 4 – London Thumakda
Episode 3 – Infrastructure
Episode 2 – Dangal Dangal
Episode 1 – Sacrifice

The untouchables – this is not a derogatory or personal attack on anyone in particular, but all I have always wanted to know is how are the people who run their respective sports in our country picked to do so. What is the criteria needed to be the chief of Tennis or Golf in India? What are the qualifications or skill sets needed to be the treasurer or honorary secretary of Cricket in India and who decides when it is right for them to be hired or fired?
To me, it’s scary to think that if we don’t have the answers to the questions above, how these probably poorly skilled people have been designated to govern the country’s entire sport!

Again, I am not saying they are all not worthy and don’t deserve to be there – all I am asking is that if I wanted the job of becoming honorary secretary of the BCCI – how would I go about achieving this? Would my undergraduate finance degree help me – I have a suspicious feeling the answer is probably not! 😉

Is there a group I don’t know about and need to be a part of, in order to be eligible to be picked for this elite bunch? I’ve never been so baffled while writing a column/blog before to think that potentially a billion people’s sporting lives revolve around bosses who don’t exactly know what they did to achieve that position and have probably never ever tried to play that sport. This is literally like me saying after I’ve played tennis, I want to become a Wall Street investment banker without any knowledge of banking, just because I know a lot of bankers and Goldman Sachs is looking for a new CEO in New York. Wake up India – this is insanity at its finest!

My next point is a bit disheartening as I honestly feel we will never learn and no one really cares. We have already kind of given up and accepted the policy of anybody running any sport. Unless we change this attitude, I request our nation to not mourn any sporting losses and accept the fact that we are a third world country in more than one way. This is our image on the line and very critical jobs that we are handing to people for no rhyme or reason. To me, this shows and goes on to prove why our neighbouring countries, just like us, sent least number of athletes in comparison to the number of delegates to Rio this summer. Pakistan, for example, had 6 athletes -14 delegates.

Is this a modern era sub-continent culture that I am unaware of? It’s only the Olympics – CHALEGA YAAR – which board member wants a paid holiday to Brazil?

Let’s put a system in place for our athletes, as well as our association members, as both need to be on the same page to achieve any sporting success whatsoever. I am 100% sure we have a lot of good delegates-treasurers-secretaries and CEOs in Indian sport – it’s just a shame that they are being overshadowed at the moment. Either make a difference, or make way, so that somebody else can make a difference.

As an immediate solution, I think we can have a players/association 50-50 fair voting system for potential candidates and a basic criteria necessary for each candidate with no exceptions.

When we know corruption is rife at every level in India, why doesn’t our religious country now believe in Karma and Gods omnipresence?

Wake up India – it’s your flag we represent on the line. Stop this average Indian mentality because incase we haven’t realised, it’s sadly not OK!

Impossible is nothing 😉 Thank you very much!
Purav Raja

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