Utopia, as clock strikes 13

As expected, the final week of the Olympic year was about India taking one last longing look at the London Games. It's been the same always. Every four years, since the turn of the century, we have always remembered our ever-improving Olympic show around the time we discard old calendars and make new resolutions.

Unfortunately, this yearend tribute, usually, is also a polite way of walking our Olympic heroes to the door and inviting the cricketers in.

While keeping a count of Indian cricket's transitional problems, Mahi's bikes or Ravindra Jadeja's horses, several intriguing chapters of the Olympic story go unnoticed. Till the countdown for the next big multi-discipline event the Asiad or the Commonwealth Games the wrestlers, shooters, shuttlers and hockey stars fight for the attention of the cricket-heavy minds.

So, in the days ahead as the Indian cricketers play Pakistan, England, Australia at home, the IPL 5 and South Africa away, will the Indian fans turn their backs on the India's 2012 Olympic squad in 2013?

Had it been another post-Olympic year, the answer would have been 'yes', but 2013 is different.

This year hockey, badminton and wrestling have planned innovative IPL-style leagues that will be marketed professionally, covered by fancy cameras and will have big corporate support.

In the past, non-cricket sports, especially hockey and wrestling, have witnessed packed stands with noisy supporters, but somehow, somewhere they lost the connect with the masses. Sharp suits with borrowed ideas are trying to turn back the clock.

Actually, with athletes assured of fat cheques, they are painting a dream scenario for the much-neglected sports. So, 2013 finally provides a foothold for the sports that have often complained of being swept away by the cricket juggernaut.

The new league will certainly not throw up IPL-kind phenomenal numbers, but even if it helps us to see more of Sushil Kumar, Saina Nehwal and Sardar Singh during non-Olympic year, 2013 will be actually a leap year.

... contd.

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