Balaji joined other top Indian athletes from variuos sport to talk about life during the pandemic and much more in an online All Sports Conclave which was organized by Sports Dunk to discuss on ‘Sports post COVID-19’.
The conclave also featured Asian Games Bronze medalist Table Tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal, former India Basketball captain Murali Krishna, Sports Analyst and coach Rajath Kamalm as panelist, while Indian women’s netball player Amandeep Kuar also joined the session as a guest.
When quizzed about the changes that will be implemented in sports post COVID-19, Balaji said, “Sports is going to change a lot. The officials are working hard to bring back normalcy in sports.
“They are trying hard to organise tournaments and they need support in that. Cricket will be revived in England but it will still be too early to comment on how sports is going to change we will have to wait for some more time.”
When asked about what he feels on ICC banning use of saliva on ball the former India cricketer said, “It is going to have a huge impact. Ball is the companion of a bowler just like TT racket is for Sharath, Basketball is for Murali. So the problem is, it is secondary nature of cricketers especially bowlers to use saliva on the ball and not doing so will take time.
“ICC may have imposed fine for using saliva on the ball but more than it being a rule it is individual’s responsibility. The ball is touching too many hands so players should refrain from using saliva because it is hard to have a camera always pointed at the ball to keep a check.”
Balaji also feels there should be testing a week before the match or tournament to stay on the safer side.
“I suggest that to keep the game safe testing teams a week before a match or tournament should be made compulsory.”
Balaji like many believes that it can be a blessing in disguise for India as foreign coaches will not be available and it will be an opportunity to build our own sports infrastructure, our own coaches.
“Well India in the past few years has established its independent identity as a sporting nation. Many Olympic sports have had foreign coaches and I believe this difficult time may give an opportunity to develop our own infrastructure and nurture local talent but it definitely will have its economic side effects.”
Balaji also added: “We need a sports infrastructure which is transparent. Top authorities in federations need to be educated about sports management more and only then can we meet the target of making India a sports powerhouse.”
“I believe this is the best time for cricketers to do something for other sports too, because sports encourages generations. We need to find a way to bring the sports fraternity together,” said Balaji.
Finally Balaji gave his opinion about how youngsters could keep themselves motivated during the epidemic.
“People have role models they follow them read their success stories to get inspiration. Hard work is the key because shortcuts can never gurantee long-term success.”
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