"Universities and schools are busy producing professionals but not good human beings. All cities have produced professionals but a rare few produce Olympians" said former Indian cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi while addressing the 'national conference on wellness through physical activity' at Punjabi university here on Friday.
Bedi, once considered one of the finest left-arm spinners of the world, recalled his interaction with Sir Donald Bradman. "Donald Bradman, who is regarded as the greatest test batsman of all times, told me that all his life, he played as an amateur and not a professional player only because he did not want to miss out on the fun of the game. Being a stock broker, he used to play cricket in his lean time."
Known for his candid comments, Bedi said, " Indian Premier League (IPL) is not professionalism, as it is not taking the game to the excellence level, rather it is a money making format of the game".
The former cricketer, who has been promoting sports culture across the country, advised the university authorities to start aiming high. "Students should be trained to win medals at Olympics and international level events. Only aiming for Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy is not enough to produce sporting legends".
On the increasing demand for Bharat Ratna for hockey legend Dhyan Chand, the spin legend said, "The hockey legend's name was proposed before this prestigious title was conferred on Sachin Tendulkar. However, after Sachin, the chances for other sportsmen being honoured and recognized have increased. Now sporting legends would get their due honours".
Talking to media persons regarding the performance of the Indian squad in South Africa and its prospects in the upcoming New Zealand tour, he said, "Indian team is not playing long tours outside the sub-continent with the top teams. They should play more matches outside the sub-continent".
Comments on AAP
When asked about the possibility of his joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said, "I am too old to join any party now. However, I feel that AAP has the right agenda and good candidates. They should be given time to implement their policies".