There is no dearth of talent in Punjab, but the state needs to create better infrastructure and provide more facilities to youngsters to polish their skills, cricketer Harbhajan Singh said on Saturday.
“These days, very few kids are coming out to play outdoor sport. To encourage them, we have to create better infrastructure and give them more facilities,” he said.
Harbhajan Singh was the chief guest at the launch of a cricket academy of former player Reetinder Sodhi.
Harbhajan said, “In Punjab even today (sports) infrastructure is lacking. We need more academies like these to come up, these facilities can be in the government or the private sector.”
“We need to encourage more and more kids to go out and play outdoor games. It is good to see that Reetinder has opened this academy. From government side too, something has to be done so that more and more kids are encouraged to play. There is no dearth of talent in Punjab,” he said.
“While many kids are hooked these days to gadgets like smart phones, there are some parents who feel that their kids may land up in bad company if they go out. But the point is that if good institutes and academies come up and better infrastructure is created, I am sure kids will be encouraged and then we can convert and channelise the talent of these young kids in a positive manner,” Harbhajan said.
He also said that sports culture in Punjab needs to be revived.
“If we give good facilities and create good opportunities for the young talent, they will shine. We will not only create champions, but also create lot of healthy people and good citizens,” he added.
Asked about sportspersons from neighbouring Haryana bringing laurels both at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, Singh said, “While these sportspersons are bringing medals for their country, but they are also making their state proud. I am sure they (Haryana) must be doing something better than us (Punjab).”