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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Basketball is my first love: Abhishek Bachchan

Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 08, 2014
First Published: 11:11 IST(8/5/2014) | Last Updated: 11:39 IST(8/5/2014)
It’s well known that Abhishek Bachchan is a football fan, but the actor says basketball is his first love.

And even as he gears up for a kabaddi league in which he has bought a team, he insists that it’s time India took sports and women playing them seriously.

Read: Would love if Aaradhya played sports: Abhishek Bachchan

Which is your favourite sport?
I’m a big fan of basketball since childhood. It’s my first love among all the sports. I played it in school and also recreationally. I’m a huge Magic Johnson fan. He and Sachin Tendulkar are my two favourite sportsmen.

How does the future of sports look in India?
I think the sports revolution is finally happening here. I’ve always given the example of the US, where you have at least five major sporting leagues doing well simultaneously. Sport is a great integrator and a great thing for national pride. Seeing someone from your country on a podium, with the National Anthem playing, is a riveting feeling. I’m glad that people are looking towards sports in India.

Do you think that with games like football and basketball, women are given a fair chance?
Yes, there are women’s teams in a lot of competitive sports. We can and should do more, because in India, the mindset is still that sports are just khel kood (fun and games). They aren’t taken seriously. When I was in school, sports were given as much importance as other subjects. Basketball has shaped me into what I am today. For women, it’s about getting rid of the stigma that they can’t play. We have great women athletes.
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