In another example of elitist and preferential attitude towards Indian cricketers, the BCCI has decided to upgrade travel privileges from economy to business class, much to the consternation of other decorated and seasoned Indian sports personalities.
This decision comes after members of the Indian cricket team had complained that they were ‘mobbed’ by fans when they travel in economy class. Now the question arises, are the Olympians who have represented India under the tricolor at the biggest stage entitled for the same privileges given to these cricketers?
It is also important to note that not all the cricketers are ‘mobbed.’ Even if they are, there is absolutely no security concern as they are harmless awestruck fans who would approach these players for an autograph if not a photo.
"We still travel in economy even after these laurels"
Sakshi Malik who won the bronze medal for India at the 2016 Rio Olympics also feels that this kind of discrimination shouldn't happen and that such differences shouldn't exist in sports. “This kind of difference should not be there at all. Even for us, we also need to travel in such a way so that we feel minimal tiredness at the end of the journey,” said Sakshi Malik.
“Even when we traveled for our Olympics, we had traveled in economy class and it was a very long journey. Perhaps, if we traveled in business class, we could have started training the next day itself, but that was not the case,” said Sakshi Malik.
Former Athlete Anju Bobby George also feels that this divide shouldn’t be there between sports, she also feels that BCCI is able to make such a decision because they can afford it, whereas other sports federations don’t have the same levay.
“If our sports federation could afford it, we would also like to travel in business class. There is no difference between cricketers and olympians because both represent the country. There is rule that for all government events, we only go via economy class,” said long jumper Anju Bobby George exclusively to Republic TV’s Sumon Ray.