Mumbai: Gautam Gambhir, who is having a dream run with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the ongoing Indian Premier League, said that a “sportsman would have been a better choice” as a goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics instead of Bollywood star Salman Khan.
The Indian Olympic Association recently named Salman as their choice for the event to be held in August. “A sportsman would have been ideal, could be somebody like Abhinav Bindra who has won medals for India in Olympic sports (shooting). People like him have done massive things,” said Gambhir here on Monday.
The cricketer believes sport and the entertainment industry are not connected. “Sportsmen do not need Bollywood or the film industry, they do not need publicity; it could be the other way round,” added Gambhir.
Meanwhile, former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar said there was nothing wrong with Salman Khan’s appointment and cited the example of how IPL “benefitted” through its association with Bollywood stars.
“Why not a known face who is not really a part of that particular profession. If he can bring a lot more awareness to that particular profession then why not? I don’t see anything wrong in it,” Gavaskar said.
“How has IPL been benefitted by having Bollywood stars in it? It has helped considerably in bringing the crowds to the stadium. Eventually, it’s mainly because of the kind of cricket being played that will decide the fate of that edition of the IPL but having Shah Rukh (Khan), Preity (Zinta) in the ground, a lot of people come to see them, so that’s a plus,” he was quoted as saying by a national channel....