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Sports  Lockdown effect

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread its havoc around the world, let us try to understand how has it Impacted Sports.
Sports Industry generates income through three major income streams: Broadcasting (sales of media rights), Commercial (sponsorship and advertising partnerships) and match day revenue (ticketing and hospitality). Each Sport and its leagues or Championship season have their own fan base, followers and spectators, therefore it is crucial to stick to the fixtures decided which are planned well in advance. The subsequent cancellation of multiple sports fixtures and in some cases the entire leagues have led to humongous losses. These losses trickle down to every last employee working in the industry from ground and maintenance staff to players and coaches, to drivers and house-keeping staff and also has left scores of players and coaches stranded in a foreign land away from their country with no certainty of getting back to their home land. Without any other source of income and no opportunities around, this is a difficult phase to pass. The top brass of athletes and sports person are unlikely to get affected financially but everyone apart from them is facing the crunch because of the pandemic. 
Sporting officials and leaders are trapped in a difficult position. Faced with a global pandemic and major public health issue, they had to take action. At the same time, broadcasters and commercial media partners will be watching carefully to ensure they still get what they paid for. Individual players as well as teams will also strive to ensure they do not suffer the adverse consequences of decisions over which they have little control.
Authorities have never faced a challenge like this before. There have been previous instances of H1N1 and the Zika virus which had a little impact of sports back in 2010-11, but nothing close to this. The protection of public and athlete health is of paramount importance but officials are also aware of the significant financial impact this is creating on the current sporting calender which is also deeply impacting the economics of individuals and they need to take some measures to put money in the pockets of all the stakeholders. This year the battle won’t be fought in Wimbledon or Monaco, but in the Courtrooms around the World.`

 
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The Untold Story - Prithvi Shaw

India is a country where Cricket is often hailed as a religion. Every child in India has had a dream of becoming a successful cricketer and representing the most coveted team in the world, The Indian Cricket Team! But only few of these dreamers actually get the opportunity to play at the top tier of International Cricket as it requires some serious level of dedication and sacrifice towards the sport. Like coach Justin Langer of Cricket Australia said, “you need to be pretty good if you’re going to be picked up from a billion and a half people!”
Today, I am going to emphasize on one such young upcoming Indian Batsman and star of the future, Prithvi Shaw! He is one of the biggest names in cricket coming out of Mumbai, a city which in the past have given us legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rohit Sharma to name a few. Born in Gaya, a historical town in the state of Bihar, he moved with his father Pankaj Shaw to Mumbai at an early age. There he (Pankaj Shaw) set up a small business which was not adequate to fund the cricketing ambitions of the young star. 
Shaw started playing cricket for MIG (Middle Income Group) club and was also the captain of the Mumbai U-19 team. He along with a group of talented young cricketers of Mumbai like Sarfaraz Khan and Arman Jaffer re-wrote many record books in school cricket and were quickly starting to build a reputation for themselves. People in the cricketing circles had already started to compare Shaw with the generation of legends of the city like Tendulkar and Kambli. After prospering at the domestic level, he was signed by Sports Management Company of Nilesh Kulkarni for a fee of 3 lakh per annum and later, Shiv Sena contractor gave Prithvi a home to stay in Mumbai. These were the defining days of his early career as he used to practice for 50 – 60 overs daily from as many as 30 different bowlers! He was also offered a stint at the Julian Wood Cricket Academy in England which changed his perception towards cricket.
He is also the central figure of the documentary ‘Beyond all Boundaries’ on Netfilx.
He made his first-class debut for Mumbai in the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy and scored a century in the second innings of the match. He scored another century in his debut match of the Duleep Trophy in 2017, a record that is only equalled by Sachin Tendulkar who had scored for the first time a century each in his debut matches of Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy. In December of 2017, he was named captain of India's squad for the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He led India to the final where they beat Australia by 8 wickets to win their fourth Under-19 World Cup!
It is a gruelling job to get selected in the Indian Cricket Team and Prithvi Shaw mad his international debut in September 2019 against West Indies for a 2 match Test series and  scored a century in the same becoming the youngest Indian batsmen to score a century on debut for India (18 years and 319 days) and was also declared the player of the series! He made his ODI debut against New Zealand in February 2020.
Prithvi Shaw is a player of the future. He has the aggressive batting style of Sehwag and the patience of Dravid which makes him a perfect marksman for the Indian team. It is still early to comprehend whether he will be better than Indian legends like Sachin or Virat Kohli but it is certain that under the current regime of the Indian Team where talent and performance is given the foremost preference, he is sure to make his mark at the global level. Prithvi Shaw’s life has been a story from rags to riches with a much more testing time ahead.

 
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SPORTS Industry and COVID 19

The COVID 19 scenario has taken a serious toll on the Sports Industry. With mega events such as the Tokyo Olympics, T20 World Cup, The Indian Premier League and UEFA EURO Cup lined up for 2020, this year was sure to be an exciting one for the sports enthusiasts around the world! Now the fate of these very events lies in serious jeopardy creating havoc amongst the managing authorities who estimate the loses to be in billions.

The global sports industry has been impacted severely. Iconic events like Wimbledon Championship and Monaco Grand Prix have been cancelled for the first time since a very long time which has truly saddened the whole community. Sport’s governing bodies and authorities round the world are scrambling to reorganise the calendar and try to salvage the sporting season by reducing the expenses of the tournaments and organise as many events as possible before the end of the year. Ambiguity is in the air as initially it was decided earlier that the sports events will be played behind closed doors without any audience, but as the virus situation escalated and worsened especially in Europe, many of the games are either postponed or cancelled.

This has almost been a dismal experience for the fans who are in a state of desperation while mourning the loss of live action.  Also, there is a serious scepticism amongst the authorities regarding the willingness of the audience to return to the crowded stadiums once the crisis is over.

Analysts caution that it is too early to calculate the damage to sport businesses. Consultancy KPMG predicts the “Big Five” football leagues and their member clubs in England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy face a collective hit of almost €4bn in lost broadcasting, sponsorship and match day revenue if the remaining games in their seasons are not completed. Some are expected to cope with the cash crunch better than others. The organisers behind the Wimbledon tennis championships, cancelled this year, and the Tokyo Olympics, postponed until next summer, believe their insurance policies will recoup the vast majority of costs. But many football, rugby union and cricket clubs are among those to find their insurance arrangements do not cover pandemics (Ref. Financial Times article ‘Can the sports industry survive the coronavirus shutdown? Dated-05/04/2020)

The global revenue earned from the sale of sports goods, apparels and services in FY 2018 was estimated to be to be worth $498 billion! How much of a dent in the revenue will the coronavirus situation put in 2020? How will the industry recover? How long will it take for the situation to be normalised? Just some questions seeking answers.


By – Gauresh Thombre

 
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COVID 19 and the Virtual World

As the lockdown has now started to sink in our nerves and the mind seriously needing a break from the excessive hours spent watching Netflix, there is a need to change the routine and engage the mind in some other platform. The answer is Online Video Gaming!

Online Gaming in the recent years have become a phenomenon as it is just getting bigger and bigger by the day! More and more people especially adolescents have started to play these games on their PC and participate in online gaming groups on what we call ‘servers’. These servers are online platforms where a group of gamers sitting on their PC/Laptop are connected with each other and they play together in teams against each other or other gamers who are also part of that server. This type of gameplay sharpens the skills of the gamer as he is not competing against bots but real people behind their skills as human instincts are way more unpredictable in a gaming arena. (Games like PUBG, Counter Strike, World of War, DOTA etc.)

The gaming battles on these servers’ act as a proving ground where you understand your own and your opponent’s skill level. If at all someone is doing exceptionally well here, he/she may now think of participating in gaming leagues and competitions to compete at a national or international level. These competitions are subject to huge cash prizes!

Although some might argue that video games are not treated as a kind of sports in the traditional sense of the word, the level of competition in the gaming world has gotten bigger throughout the past few years that their gaming leagues are now comparable to any big sporting event.

Video game tournaments now command a huge following all over the world, with enthusiastic fans cheering for their favourite teams. The audience for this game is very specific as  the ‘lingo’ used by the gamers can be different and may not be familiar to a casual audience Gaming has now become so popular that the best and most popular gaming teams are racking up millions of dollars from tournament winnings, on top of endorsements, similar to celebrity athletes.

The difference also regarding video game tournaments is that the games can last for hours longer than your normal kind of sporting event. Also, there are dedicated platforms on internet and channels on YouTube where news on new video game releases, tournament news, and game reviews are published regularly for their viewers.

Fans of sport around the world are eagerly awaiting the return of live action but in the meanwhile, sports like Formula 1 have started to have online races! The F1 season was due to commence in March 2020, but as the epidemic spread, the first few races like the Australian and Bahrain GP were cancelled. Well, not exactly! Virtual GP were played which starred a few F1 stars like Charles Leclerc (Scuderia Ferrari), Alex Albon (Aston Martin Redbull Racing) along with George Russel and Nicolas Latifi (Williams Racing). It definitely was exciting to see these kinds of event happening as a consolation for the fans. Other sports such as Football and Cricket which have a very developed gaming platform by EA Sports should also consider having a virtual gaming league for the fans!


By – Gauresh Thombre

 
Conference

FUTURE OF INDIAN TEAM AFTER STEPHEN CONSTANTINE

Stephen Constantine one of the best foreign coach ventured down as Indian Football Teams lead trainer after a frustrating presentation against Bahrain. The news wasn't an amazement, it was predicted that Constantine won't be given an augmentation after his agreement runs as the year progressed.

AIFF apparently held talks with a few potential applicants back in October and Albert Roca was their top decision to supplant Constantine. Be that as it may, Roca has assumed control over China's U-23 group a place that would be all the more testing and productive.

Westwood who was among the names that glided back in October and was likely their subsequent option after Roca for that position. His endeavours with BFC before and furthermore the way that he was AIFF's first decision to assume control over India in 2015 we can anticipate that him should be one of the top choices for this activity. We can likewise anticipate that him should re-join with Pradhyum Reddy somebody who has great affinity with senior players and is known to discover a ton of new concealed gifts.

Derrick Pereira is another choice which was considered by the AIFF. The previous Pune FC and Salgoacar director is a sheltered decision for AIFF and is known for his capacity to work with insignificant assets.

Scott O’Donnell and Richard Hood were another couple of names that were into thought presumably for the situation of partner administrator. The last who is one of most qualified mentors in India has the sponsorship of Savio Medeira the present specialized executive of AIFF.

There are many individuals out there who anticipate that India should play some quick paced ownership-based football with some European director. In spite of the fact that this may neutralize SAFF groups India would be uncovered when they face a group of comparative gauges or a top Asian side. We committed a comparative error delegating Wim Koevermans who before long returned to normal long ball approach after his inability to execute possession-based football. After Sunil Chhetri India needs somebody youthful who can design his own way of thinking and set out an establishment for the following 10-20 years. It is about changing a way and then surely India can excel in here. Scoring goal and building strong team work is need of the hour.


By – Pooja Moti

 
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