Rugby has been played in many forms during the last two centuries or so that it has been around, but with all the time in the world to see that it gains a strong foothold and become a sport as popular as conventional football or soccer and even cricket has been lost on those who have been administering it.
Asia is the answer
Asia where about 60% of the world population say’s home to, has still to gain the full advantage from Rugby in comparison to football or soccer and cricket, which have made indelible impressions and are far ahead in popularity and the filtering revenues to the populace.
It is not a secret that it is money that would drive passions and that is what has happened to cricket, which has taken very strong roots in India which has brought the game to where it is now.
Reaping the fruits of failure
The British failed in India and had to leave the subcontinent in a hurry and they did manage to keep cricket alive though they restricted play only among the “White Sahibs” which the “Brown Sahibs” managed to wrest control and today if not for the revenues generated in India, cricket too would be in the doldrums like Rugby.
The International Rugby Football Board needs to look at Rugby in a new perspective and that too very prudently if they are to sustain the game into the next few decades.
India is the solution
India is a powerhouse and it is imperative that the game is taken there and with a population of more than 1.2 billion and growing Rugby would need its blessings, if it is to be the sport for the next century.
Unlike cricket, Rugby does not incur much of a cost to play and could be affordable to many and this could be one distinct reason to ensure that it spreads to the vast corners of the subcontinent of India.
Asian Rugby Union needs to wake up
Though the Asian Rugby Union was formed in 1968 it has still to find a strong foothold in India and why they have been beating around the bush without going in with a purpose is a matter beyond comprehension for many Rugby lovers in India and elsewhere in Asia.
If India could be reined in it would boost Rugby to new heights and it would not be long before other countries around it like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and other countries would break into the big league.
Unity through Rugby
Sport could heal many wounds and it is time that Rugby which is a body contact sport unlike any other could bring more cohesiveness and camaraderie among these countries when it is played in the right spirits.
If Rugby needs to popularize itself it would be necessary for all governing bodies controlling the game to rein in India where the finances are available to take it forward, if not it would be always a desperate scraping of the bottom of the barrel to finance the sport.
What India has done for cricket it could do for Rugby too, but who would be ready to “bell the Cat”, is anybody’s guess.