Former captain Kapil Dev on Monday doffed his hat at the rise of cricket as a career option for youngsters, saying that parents now encourage their children to take up the game to earn a living.
"Now a cricketer can earn Rs 10 crore for playing 40 days only (in the IPL). It is just fantastic. Cricket is a career option now," Kapil said during his address at the 7th Global Sports Summit organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.
"Times have changed and the thought process has changed. Now parents say to their children 'if you do not want to study you can at least play cricket and become a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid'," the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning captain said.
Kapil asked the government to provide the required sports infrastructure, including play fields, and reduce tax on sports goods and equipment.
"The corporate has done their part by way of sponsorship and media have done their part by making sports, especially cricket, big. I think the government will have to do its part by giving sports infrastructure if India wants to produce champions," he said.
"The government will have to provide the sports infrastructure. Reduce the tax on sports goods and equipments. I heard that shooters have issues on importing their equipment and ammunition. The government will have to make it easy to bring in sports goods and equipments by reducing taxes on these," he said in the presence of Sports Secretary Rajiv Yadav.
He also said that every school in the country should have enough play fields.
"Schools are the places from where talent will come and if there are not enough play fields, how will the country produce world champions. 40 per cent of the premises of all schools should be play fields," said Kapil.
Responding to Kapil's plea, Yadav said that because of the limited budgetary allocation for sports, it's difficult for his ministry to provide all the facilities and it needs help from the corporate sector to build infrastructure.