With the IPL spot-fixing scandal roiling Indian cricketing world,two of India’s greatest sporting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Abhinav Bindra want the media to focus on the positive aspects of the games instead of dishing out incorrect things to the viewers and readers.
“From a sportsman’s point of view,as much positive information as possible needs to be given by the media to help them prepare better,” Tendulkar said here today.
“But sometimes there are things which actually have not happened. Sometimes there are speculations that there were fights in the team and seniors were not allowing juniors to settle. These are all rumours and that is why you sometimes feel (bad). If any incorrect information goes out in the public,there must be a line,” the batting maestro said.
Bindra,who created history in 2008 at Beijing by shooting down India’s first and thus far only individual Olympic gold medal,endorsed his views.
“When I started playing the game I wanted to be like Mr (Sunil) Gavaskar and Vivian Richards,and set examples for others.
“Today morning,I went to the All India Under-16 football tournament final between Meghalaya and Odisha. (Indian football captain) Sunil Chhetri was there and it was wonderful to interact with him,” said Tendulkar.
“These kinds of tournaments are important and the press has a big role to play by covering these sports and encouraging the youngsters.”
Bindra recalled how a TV channel tried to interview him midway through his qualifying and final rounds in the 10m air rifle contest in Beijing and he was not happy.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the media. It’s important for the media to be sensitive to the sportsmen’s needs. I would not like to be hounded by the media.
“In Beijing,one of the TV channels wanted to interview me after I qualified for the finals (scheduled later in the day) in the 20-25 minutes break and I gave them a dirty look,” said the ace shooter.
Bindra said most of the things written about him in the media after his historic moment five years ago were incorrect.
“I was described as a very calm person in the articles but I am a hyperactive person and very nervous. I used to hate all kinds of sport till the age of 10 or 11 when I was in a boarding school. After I shifted to Chandigarh I was forced to take up a sport and since I was a fat kid and did not want to move much,took to shooting,” said Bindra.
“But once I took to the sport I worked very hard.”
Tendulkar revealed how after the Indian squad’s 2007 triumph in the T20 World Cup in South Africa,a win he was not a part of,some of the team members called him during the motorcade from the Mumbai airport to the Wankhede Stadium and asked to join them in the open-topped bus,but he declined.
“It is your day,I told them,” Tendulkar recalled and added that when the phone call came he was inside his car and the bus was being driven over a flyover above him in suburban Bandra.
Talks turned to how he had negotiated Australian leg spin great Shane Warne in the 1997-98 series.
“I faced him in the match at Mumbai,when we beat them in two and a half days,and hit a century. In that match he did not bowl to me even once from around the wicket. But I knew at a crunch time in the Test match he would do so and I was prepared for it.”
Asked about Bindra’s achievement,Tendulkar said when the historic moment in Indian sports happened he was in Sri Lanka with the cricket team.
“I was in Sri Lanka and we were playing a match. When we came to know about it,the first time a gold medal has been won in 88 years or so,we were very excited. To win a medal in Olympic Games that come once in four years you have to be focused and disciplined,” the champion cricketer.
“Tendulkar has been a hero and a huge inspiration for me,” said Bindra.