We have a flag for our nation. Similarly, we have our national animal (tiger), bird (peacock) and our national game too. That is hockey – a bigger pardon – was hockey! Can we say so? But considering the importance given to cricket, it is no derogatory term to say so, isn’t it?

A cricket player in India is treated with velvet glove. He gets paid more than the national hockey team members. Moreover, there is always room to earn millions of rupees just by showcasing in advertisement.

But the hockey players are ill-fated ones! It may be recalled that during the second half of 2011, after our hockey team had won the match, each hockey player was awarded a peanut of Rs.25,000! After their protest, it was hiked to Rs.50,000.

Why this bias treatment from the top brass? The cricket may get more revenue. That is because even a villager who knew nothing about cricket, watches the live telecast in the TV. Thus, cricket kills all other sports and games. It has become a fancy to discuss cricket matches and uttering the players’ names in the public places.

About cricket George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying, “Eleven fools are playing; eleven thousand fools are watching!” Although this sarcastic remark of Shaw was condemned by many, it is still amusing to hear it. If a cricketer becomes popular, he would be haunted by a washed-up Bollywood actress with whom he (the player) would go to the pubs, drink, and dance and lose his strength and stamina when there is a match the next day!

Critically viewing, cricket is a lazy game! It involves only three players: bowler, batsman and one fielder. Others in the outfield can be seen idling. It never happens with any other games.

It is time we, in India, gave a face-lift to hockey, our national game. But will the sports ministry look into the plight of the hockey players and promote this game on a par with cricket?

Unlike cricket, Hockey is a virgin! Not been tainted with ‘Match Fixing’ scandal, so far!