New Delhi: Olympic Gold medallist Abhinav Bindra today lauded Board of Control for Cricket in India's efforts in bringing in professionalism in the sporting arena, which is a key ingredient in achieving international success urging the other associations to follow the suit.
"BCCI has done a good job in creating the professional environment in the sporting arena. All other associations needs to follow this. This is the first and significant step, rest will follow," Bindra said during a seminar related to National Conference on Sports and Sports Infrastructure here today.
BCCI joint secretary and one of the newly-elected Vice-Presidents of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Anurag Thakur praises BCCI's contribution in building sporting infrastructure in the country.
"BCCI gave Rs 50 crore to the sports ministry. But it was not used properly. Some money was given to Jammu and Kashmir government (for renovation) and PT Usha (her academy in Kerala)," Thakur said.
Thakur also lashed out at the detractors of the BCCI saying that its works have often been excessively criticized for no reason.
"In our country, everyone always wants to thwart anything which is progressing," Thakur told media.
Addressing the gathering, Sports Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ajit Mohan Sharan said that building stadiums only won't help much in creating a sporting culture in the country.
"All the stadiums are used for 20 to 30 days-a-year," said Sharan.
Thakur raised questions about the fact whether lavish stadiums which have been built during 2010 Commonwealth Games, are contributing much facilities to the athletes.
The BJP parliamentarian also questioned whether athletes are having any access to all these stadiums.
"Thousands and crores have been spent on building stadiums like Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and others. But are the athletes getting necessary access to these facilities?," asked Thakur.
Bindra, who is known for his strong views against the sporting establishment, today pitched for the athletes' rights.
"Forming Athlete Commission is mandatory for all the federations," said Bindra.
Sharan voiced for the need of strong Sports Development Bill in the country.
"Draft of the bill is ready. Because of the support from the athletes, we have been able to bring provisions for the strong legal mechanism for the benefit of the sports persons of the country," said Sharan.
When asked about the newly elected elected IOA administration, Bindra chose to remain silent saying that he is not in the IOA fold. (BCCI chief's brother elected new IOA president)
On the other hand, Thakur is hopeful that this change would usher a new and fruitful beginning for the country's sport. (My immediate aim is to bring back India into the Olympic fold: N Ramachandran)
"We need much more coaches and better infrastructure, better training facilities for the athletes to win more medals in the world events. We should set a target for the upcoming Olympics and work closely on all quarters to achieve that goal," Thakur told media.