It meant.. CRICKET..
Obviously the other sports did exist, but not only were the player less but also, the opportunities provided.
Now as the years progressed, so did our viewpoints on various other sports.
Here is a list of sports which people began to watch:
1) Indian league (Football)
2) English premier league (Football)
3) Spanish premier league (Football)
4) Italian league (Football)
5) Indian Badminton League
6) Indian Hockey League
7) Olympics ( Weight Lifting, others)
8) Boxing Matches
9) Lawn Tennis ( Worldwide )
So, we can see a list of new sports which the common man could enjoy watching.
The highest being Football, which has now been revolutionized in India.
Over the course of 7-8 years i.e from 2006- present, Indian fans of football have been increasing on a vast scale.
Gone are the days, when people would stay at home and watch matches.
Now, they attend screenings, visit their favorite team shops, cafes to buy merchandise and flaunt their support.
The majority of supporters have increased the number of players too.
There is a division of football in Mumbai which is as follows,
Third division – 152 clubs split into 19 groups with every group having 8 clubs
Second division – 56 clubs split into 7 groups with every group having 8 clubs
First Division – 48 clubs split into 6 groups with every group having 8 clubs
Super division – 30 clubs split into 3 groups of 10 teams each
Elite division – 14 clubs in one division
Then the winners will advance to, I-League 2nd division, and then finally, the main stage, “I-League“
So just imagine, if every team has a minimum of 11 + 5 players in their squad then how many players are into this sport?
The number might reach around 8-10,000 players which is a huge number.
Worldwide, scouts who search talent for their clubs have also termed India as the next big thing.
Many football schools of different English clubs have started their schools here.
So kids if this generation can get training, play on better grounds, get better facilities, and meet football stars and who knows, might become famous also!
Also by the time the teams reach the Elite and I-league, players get paid per match which thus makes the sport more worthwhile for the players.
The audience for these matches over the years have increased by over 100%
The club names Dempo, Churchill brothers, Goa, Salgaocar, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, etc have become household names for football fanatics in India.
These clubs are a source of finding the best players to represent India in World Football.
We rank 156 in World football which is not a good sight, but from where i see it, there is a huge scope of improvement, as we have nothing to loose and a lot to gain.