New Delhi: Central Sports Minister Uma Bharthi made it clear that she has nothing against cricket and is all for promotion of the game throughout the country. The minister was candid enough to admit that cricket is the game the youngsters want to play. ''Cricket has over taken other games in the country and this is the fact.''
She said the match-fixing scandal has raised certain fundamental questions regarding the crass commercialisation having crept in the gentleman's game, but added it only affected the image of some cricketers but not the game itself.
Ms Bharti said, ''In my interaction with youngsters, I find they always want more facilities to play cricket. In such a situation, how can I be against the mass game. I want it to grow more but hope that commercial considerations will not overtake the game.''
The minister made these remarks while inaugurating the annual Bishan Bedi Coaching Trust camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday morning.
Addressing 75 young trainees at the camp, held jointly with the Sports Authority of India, she praised Bedi's contribution to the game and appreciated his efforts at giving back to the game and hoped that more cricketers would follow suit.
Former captain Mansur Ali Khan, who was also present at the occasion, hoped that the youngsters would emerge as better cricketers after the six-week camp. He described cricket as a team game and sometimes you may be called to sacrifice your personal ambitions for the sake of the team.
Bedi said the aim of the camp was not just to help the trainees become better cricketers but also to make them better human beings.