Rugby struggling for space in cricket-crazy India

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Indian Rugby
Mumbai, Sep 30: Battling the country's craze over cricket, Indian Rugby Football Union expresses hopes that the sport would be provided certain requisites to help it get the recognition it deserves.

"The key to our success is funding and in getting dedicated grounds we can use alongside sports like soccer and field hockey," Union's development manager Greg Davey was quoted as saying in a news agency report.

In the past three years that the New Zealand-born manager was in India, the sport has managed to invite interest and participation, claims Davey.

"The sport is growing quickly in India. It has grown from 20 city centres last year to 39 this year and from over 300 schools to 400 schools," he said.

As the game is being televised by sports channels, people are growing aware of the game and places like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa have shown interest in the sport.

Frustrated over the lack of grounds and other facilities given to the players, Davey claimed that with proper facilities Rugby could easily become fourth best international team sport after cricket, football and hockey.

"All we want are grounds for rugby, if not of full size but at least half the size. In some places, the Sports Authority of India are coming on board. But the cost of hiring the grounds otherwise is excessive. Some ask us Rs3,000 per hour of use," he said.

These kinds of statements from the authorities of non-cricketing sports indicates the need for India to pay some attention to other sports and their development too.

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