Mumbai: Amid ongoing debate over the appointment of Bollywood star Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Rio Games, veteran batsman Gautam Gambhir on Monday expressed that Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra would have been an ideal candidate for the post.
The Indian Olympic Association’s decision to make the 50-year-old actor as the goodwill ambassador left the sporting fraternity divided with London Olympics bronze-medallist Yogeshwar and legendary sprinter Milkha Singh questioning the move.
Meanwhile, several athletes, including Bindra himself, believe that Salman’s association would help in drawing maximum attention from the masses for the Games.
However, Gambhir also joined the chorus to criticize the move, insisting that sportspersons do need any sort of publicity.
“There is no shortage of real sportsmen in the country. People have done massive things for the country and for the Olympic sports as well,” Gambhir said at the launch of Sansui’s new premium television series here.
“I would have been happier if someone like Abhinav Bindra or someone (sportsperson) would have been made the brand ambassador because I believe that sportsmen do not need publicity, they do the job for the country because that is their passion
“Movies made on sportsman do not give any excitement to a sportsperson,” added the 34-year-old, who is currently captaining the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
“Bindra would have been the ideal choice as he is the first guy who has won the gold medal at the Olympics. I have heard someone saying that sportsmen need publicity and sportspersons need Bollywood but my take is completely different. Sportspersons do not need any Bollywood of any movie, or film industry, it could be the other way round,” he said. (ANI)