There is a big difference between what is portrayed on screen and what happens in real life. “Chak De, India” became a very popular movie showing the brilliant performance of the Indian womens hockey team led by their coach, played by Hindi movie super star, Shah Rukh Khan.

TV channels yesterday showed how different in reality the world of Indian womens hockey is. The living conditions provided to the players was pathetic. All 14 of them were made to share one large room. The players who recently returned from a tour of Australia were made to pay for their own kit!

On the other hand, CNN- IBN quotes Shah Rukh today as saying that he would like to be associated with other sports besides cricket when he won the bid for the Kolkatta team for BCCI-IPL Twenty 20 extravaganza. His bid: something like $ 75 million.

The list of franchise owners are (all amounts in US$): Vijay Mallya’s UB group (Bangalore, 111.6 million), India Cements (Chennai, 91 million), GMR group (Delhi 84 million), Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad, 107 million), a consortium led by Emerging Media (Jaipur, 67 million), Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment (Kolkata, 75.09 million), Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia, Karan Paul and Dabur’s Mohit Burman (Mohali, 76 million) and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (Mumbai, 111.9 million).

Even if a small fraction of money was spent on games other than cricket, we would do better as a sporting nation.