Citing the example of the "successful" Indian Premier League, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday batted for corporate support and professionalism in Indian sports.
The Indian Premier League entered its 11th edition this year and the matches started from April 7.
"IPL has become so successful because it is professionally run and that's the most important thing. Every player, whether it is a cricketer or a footballer or a gymnast or a tennis player who is as good as Mahesh (Bhupathi), his talent should be allowed to (flourish) and not suppressed by political (differences)," Ganguly said at the launch of Beyond the Boardroom', a coffee-table book brought out by the JSW Group.
"And with this professionalism, and corporates coming into the system, there is nothing to hold them back. Their main aim is to make sure that an X or Y wins a gold at the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. That is what is allowing talent to express themselves and become better, the former India captain noted.
Ganguly said the facilities have changed for the better now and that the athletes are being better looked after.
"So the facilities have gone a lot better (now), it is the system which produces (players) and I see a radical change in the way athletes are looked up in this country, and that's how it should be and the results will follow," he said.
"This Commonwealth Games, the tally of gold medals, there is a drastic change from the last CWG and it is going to happen in every sport. It has happened in cricket. When we used to travel to England and Australia, we used to just get rolled over. But now we see India going abroad and the IPL and the cricket, it is gone to a different level. It's the awareness of sports in our country and it is also because of the corporates who have come up, he added.
During the interaction, the Ganguly also revealed that he had never gone to a gym before playing for India.
Ace tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, boxer Nikhat Zareen, JSW Group Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal and JSW Sports Director Parth Jindal were present on the occasion.