Friday, May 16, 2008

Has Baseball Arrived in India?

Baseball has never been a popular sport in India. College kids,
especially girls play some softball, but for some reason baseball
never caught on, not until now...

"Rinku Singh, 18, and fellow javelin thrower Dinesh Patel began a
year-long training stint in Los Angeles last week after winning an
India-wide pitching contest, "The Million-Dollar Arm."
The boys, from poor families, used their natural shoulder strength to
take the top two spots from among 8,000 participants.
Another teenager, Manoj Shukla, will receive a month's training after
he came third of the 27 finalists.
The winners, who were handed their visas in a ceremony at the U.S.
embassy in New Delhi, will get an opportunity to be assessed by
professional baseball scouts at the end of their one-year stint.
Their U.S-based promoters are hoping the youngsters can make it as
professionals, saying such success would boost baseball in India in
the same way that Yao Ming's move to the NBA created a fan base for
basketball in China," reports Reuters.

Over the last few years, I have seen sports like bowling, football,
triathlons, formula one racing and others picking up steam in India,
sports that many of us never even knew about until we came to America.
It'll be interesting to watch and see how baseball catches on, if it
catches on at all, what with stiff competition from Cricket!

Reuters also reports that, "India, world cricket's commercial hub, has
become a big draw for other sports hoping to tap into its booming
economy. Golf is taking giant strides and India staged its first
European Tour events this year while soccer authorities are pushing to
revive the game in the country. The Australian Football League (AFL)
announced plans this month to push the game in India in their search
for new markets."

Read the full Reuters article at--
http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_WORLDFOOTBALL/idUKDEL24903820080513?pageNumber=4&virtualBrandChannel=0

1 comment:

ash said...

Hi Visi: Just thought I would send you a quick response to your post. The winners of the contest are currently training at USC. It has been 2 weeks since they arrived in LA. They are doing very well and are exceeding all expectations. We still have a long way to go, but the progress thus far has been very encouraging. If you are interested in following their story, or writing about it, do let me know. You can reach me at ash [at] themilliondollararm [dot] com. cheers. Ash