If you rob the idols, you ruin the temple. Stars are key to cricket’s future, don’t knock them out LOKESH SHARMA The Indian Express Thursday, August 15, 2002
Two questions repeatedly asked are, why does everybody support only cricket, and why is there no money for other sports? There’s one, very simple, answer. A cricket star earns well, lives well and is loved by everyone if he doesn’t lose his balance along the way. These stars are the wheels of an entire economy: administration, advertisers, sports goods manufacturers, marketing agencies, broadcasters, television channels, commentators and journalists and so on. They attract audiences to the benefit of the entire industry.
Yes, cricketers can earn lakhs — a couple of crores, maybe — in match fees. So do many middle-level MNC executives. But they usually don’t set pulses racing, adrenaline flowing across the country and through the world. The cricketers do; they are the reason people support a game. Take away the purse of these cricketers and you stand to rob the entire cricket economy. Children are inspired seeing Sachin in a Ferrari; how will they react if he rides a motorcycle? Take away the idols and you ruin the temple.