Apart from this, the 24-year-old champion has been acknowledged by the Government of India for his contribution to the game, as he has been awarded Arjuna Award, Rajiv Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri in the past. One wonders, how many national newspapers did a comprehensive story about the awardee all the while Advani was winning titles for himself and the country - the quantity matters as well as the quality.
No major sporting action was taking place on Sunday where major Indian sportspersons were involved, so there was a good opportunity to cover Pankaj Advani as he was playing in the finals of the World billiards title in England, but it was not to be. There were few news channels, newspapers, who found some little time to showcase the player only after the player registered his seventh world title, where he defeated Mike Russell with the final score reading 1,895-1,216.
The Indian media finds a cricket match played in a dust bowl pitch with zero percent crowd attendance more interesting than a person representing the tri colour in other sports. No newspaper had carried a preview of the billiards tournament as well.
And after all this, we expect our Indian Olympic team to bring a number of medals, whenever it is held. Is this fair? If these sportspersons are treated in such a manner, where would all the encouragement come from? Such sportspersons need to be pushed and they are sure to deliver. It is at this juncture that the media plays an important role. But, in a country like India, where cricket rules the roost, we may be asking too much from the media. Only if other sports within the nation are given importance that the sporting scenario in India is going to change.
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