Friday, July 19, 2013

Sunil Gavaskar becomes a part of Indian badminton league

Cricket's one and only little master Sunil Gavaskar along with Telugu actor Nagarjuna, are reported to have become stakeholders in the Mumbai team that will participate in the IBL (Indian badminton league) tournament that is going to be held next month from 14th to 30th Aug-2013.

In my opinion, this is great news for the badminton scenario in India. Both Gavaskar as well as Nagarjuna's involvement with the IBL will make the matches more newsworthy for newspaper publications as well as the TV channels who keenly follow everything that happens in the world of films and filmstars , and in the world of cricket and cricketers.

And with cricketers of such merit as Gavaskar showing his interest in the game, badminton will get more than the share of media attention that it usually receives. This in turn will attract more people to watch the Indian badminton league, and some of them could then become ardent followers of badminton, if the matches and the tournament delivers on its promise of some really nice high-voltage action.

But that benefit is only the tip of the iceberg. Gavaskar can offer so much more to the game, and badminton players can learn a lot from him.

In my opinion, he is a man of multiple talents and has acute observational skills. I still recollect how he once mimicked the bowling styles of players such as Abdul Kadir and Malcom Marshall in an over that he once bowled, a long time ago.

And I also distinctly remember about how he once mentioned of his experiments with holding the bat very gingerly in his hands while facing fast bowlers. He said that initially the bat got knocked out of his hands, but soon he was able to hold it without dropping it, and the opponents were astounded at how even the fastest of balls started dropping dead at his feet when coming in contact with the bat. He was truly a master at defence, in his days.

The reason I am going down this memory lane, is because badminton could do with the same kind of insights and experimentation. Well, players and coaches maybe doing it all the time, but even if they do, that kind of information does not ever reach the ears of badminton fans.

Also, at least once, I would love to hear Sunil Gavaskar lending his expert commentary to a badminton match someday. If not that maybe he could at least pass on a few good tips to those who are doing the commenting.

Even before IBL, Gavaskar has been involved with the sport of badminton for some time now and Nagarjuna's foray into badminton is not very surprising either. He is a Telugu actor who I believe is based in Hyderabad, and as all of us badminton followers know, Hyderabad is the hub of badminton activity in India, largely due to Gopichand's academy which is based there.

To add to this celebrity duo, Aamir Khan (who is a good badminton player) and Deepika Padukone (who has a badminton background, being the daughter of Prakash Padukone) are going to be the brand ambassadors for the Indian badminton league.

All things considered, the future of Indian badminton looks better than ever before.

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