With 2011 World Cup inching closer, the BCCI and its sponsorship partner sport-apparel maker Nike are trying to rope in Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi to promote the cricket’s show-piece event to be held in the sub-continent.
The company last month wrote to Rahul, inviting him to be a part of their ‘Bleed Blue’ campaign but the young politician is yet to reply. The letter, which also has the official BCCI logo, points towards the cricket board’s support to the initiative.
“Rahul Gandhi is a huge leader at the moment. More than being a perfect politician he is an imperfect politician, which is why he is so popular.
“He doesn’t fit into that mould of being an Indian politician who are generally being ugly, old, corrupt and pot-bellied. He is hugly sophisticated young man of today’s world,” an official said.
“Rahul is also the man of the world. We look at him and say he is the future, and also say that if Rahul Gandhi is the future we are alright,” he added.
Michael Ferrera, former world cuesports champion, however said that cricket does not need such a high profile personality for its promotion.
“Rahul Gandhi’s charisma and appeal to youth could be directed to support less privileged sports that will go a long way in promoting and proliferating other sports. Honestly cricket doesn’t need anyone’s support. Its already well entrenched in our culture, he said.
“Cricket doesn’t need Rahul Gandhi’s support. He is someone seen as always there for the downtrodden and for the upliftment of the needy people. Hockey, football, boxing and other discipline need him to boost the game.
“He is someone who the entire young generation listen to, he can make a difference to the state of other sports which are badly in need of a push,” former India hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho supported.
But cricketer Vinod Kambli welcomed the move.
“Mr Rahul Gandhi is already an icon for youths in India and his initiative to motivate sports activity is a welcome step from any politician. I being a cricketer welcome Rahul and would like him to encourage our youth in cricket also.
“Though we have cricketing icons, but he can be a helping hand for the youths,” he said.