FICCI in News
Gilchrist bats for the 50-over format
The Hindu, Jun 20, 2017
Adam Gilchrist was set to become a teacher. “And then cricket happened.”

The former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman, who now serves as an Australia-India education ambassador, was speaking at the Australia-India Sports Partnership Meet organised by FICCI with the Australian government, here on Monday.

After answering questions on the Champions Trophy final, Gilchrist batted for the 50-over format.

“I believe there is room for all three formats. We have to make sure the competition has relevance.

“Not a lot of Australians knew what was going on, what is being played (in England, which hosted the Champions Trophy), and why it was being played. I am sure everyone in India knew it was on.

“The greatest requirement and the issue that administrators face is giving matches some relevance. So supporters want to be engaged with it. They are aware of that. They are working out a Test Championship but don’t put something up for the sake of it,” said Gilchrist, who was part of three World Cup-winning Australian teams.

Round of applause

Ajay Jadeja’s opening address got a round of applause as he talked about the reality of sports in India.

He said that not all were blessed to get education through sport and he was worried about the grassroot level, where some things haven’t changed.

“Go to any school, every football, volleyball, basketball is locked up in a cupboard. Our first thing is to find the key. This is the first thing to do: find the key,” said Jadeja.

India left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, the brain behind the International Institute of Sports Management, stated that when he started the institute seven years ago, people asked if he was out of his mind as sports management was a new field with little awareness.

“IPL completely changed the scenario. It changed the perception of how a sports event can be managed and made big.

“Today, IPL has created more than 10,000 jobs. It has led to 10-11 sporting properties. Because of the rise in kabbadi as a sport, now 450 kabbadi clubs are being run in Mumbai,” said Kulkarni.

The Australian High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, part of the panelists, said that India was on the cusp of a boom in sports sector with growing appreciation for grassroot sports.

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