'Indian hockey needs IPL-like marketing'
Bollywood star Suniel Shetty's dream to own an Indian Premier League team may not have come true, but the brand ambassador of Indian hockey thinks that an aggressive marketing venture like the IPL could bring an end to the misery of the national sport.
"India's national game needs aggressive pitching like the IPL, which has become the flavour of the season, with big names and huge stakes involved in it," Shetty told PTI.
"Instead of blaming each other for the debacle, it's high time the officials thought something on the lines of the IPL. Hockey needs corporate funding and sponsors just like the IPL to become popular," he said.
Shetty said proper administration and a transparent system would do a world of good to hockey.
"With the upcoming IPL, it looks like cricket is our national sport. Why not hockey? It's because we don't have a strong and transparent body like BCCI in hockey.
"Look at the BCCI, who have popularised the game and everyone is talking about the IPL. Similar approach should be adopted in hockey also."
Shetty, however, regretted that he did not have enough money to take a plunge into the IPL.
"To be honest, I was not having that much of money to stake a claim for a team. Shahrukh has done a fantastic job and he is a true businessman. Secondly, good partnership did not come my way to go for a joint venture."