It’s an exciting time for all stakeholders

Sportstar has always been there for all Indian sportspersons, diligently recording and publicising their achievements for sports lovers and fans of Indian sport.

India's Geet Sethi, the defending champion, in action during the Florsheim World professional billiards championship in Chennai. (circa August 1999)   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

My journey with Sportstar started in 1981 when I played the national billiards and snooker championships in Chennai. Having become a regular reader of the magazine, I then became a contributor and writer for Sportstar in 1992 when I proposed to the sports editor of The Hindu that I would cover the World Professional Snooker Championship for them from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

From 1992 till 2003, I undertook the journey every year mid-April to Sheffield with the tournament concluding after 17 days on the first Monday of May.

For a sports magazine to spend money and space on sport other than cricket in the early 1990s was unheard of.

But Sportstar and The Hindu were publications from the same group that invested in Indian sport not only for monetary returns, but for the deeper ideological cause of showcasing and highlighting all sports.

India in the early 1990s was awakening from the socialist slumber that had restricted it from reaching outwards and becoming world class. And Indian sportspersons were beginning to experience the self belief that allowed them to win at the international level.

More importantly, with the explosion of the media in the nineties, the achievements of our sporting heroes like Jeev Milkha Singh, Ramesh Krishnan and the duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, our shooters like Anjali Bhagwat and then Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at the 2004 Olympics, Sachin Tendulkar, Viswanathan Anand and P. Gopi Chand were constantly being highlighted, which provided the much needed self belief and confidence to our sportspersons to genuinely become world beaters.

Sportstar was there for all Indian sportspersons, diligently recording and publicising their achievements for sports lovers and fans of Indian sport.

And once Abhinav Bindra won that first individual Olympic gold in 2008 a new era of Indian sport commenced — an era of young Indians breaking records and winning international tournaments and world championships.

This was the era of Saina Nehwal, M. C. Mary Kom, Pankaj Advani, P. V. Sindhu, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh, Deepika Kumari, Dipa Karmakar, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Aditi Ashok... And it was the era of Virat Kohli, who, single-handedly, through his attention to physical fitness, endurance and nutrition as also his daring and courageous mindset, transformed and created new benchmarks of performance and fitness for Indian cricket.

All along and through the years, Sportstar was there for Indian sportspersons and for the Indian fans and sports lovers.

We have arrived as a nation in sport and it’s an exciting time for all stakeholders of Indian sport.

One of the all-time great stakeholders of Indian sport has been Sportstar.

(The author is co-founder of Olympic Gold Quest and an eight-time world billiards champion.)