Feature

5 Indian sports stars who turned administrators

While some Indian athletes went on to become successful administrators for a long time, there were a few who stayed only for a brief period

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Indian sports stars have chosen to don various hats post-retirement including commentary, coaching and more. Giving back to the sport by sharing their know-how in an administrative role is also one of them.

While some Indian athletes went on to become successful administrators for a long time, there were a few who took up the role for a brief period.

Former India striker Abhishek Yadav was on Tuesday appointed as the Deputy General Secretary by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). It made him the first former international player to be appointed at a high-ranked position by the Indian FA.

Here are a some of the former players who have served as administrators:

Adille Sumariwalla

Adille Sumariwalla

Adille Sumariwalla is the current president of the Athletics Federation of India and was elected as a member of the council of IAAF at its 50th congress, making him the first Indian to hold the position.

He took on the administrative role after representing the nation at the 100m event at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and several other international competitions. Incidentally, the 63-year-old was inclined towards sprint events since his school days, and went on to set the men's 200m inter-college record with a timing of 22.2 seconds. The record remained for 35 years.

Anju Bobby George 

Anju Bobby George’s fifth attempt sealed her medal at the 2003 Worlds.

Anju Bobby George is one of the greatest track and field athletes that India has ever produced.

She etched her name in the Indian history books after bagging a bronze medal in the long jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris.

Her appearance in the long jump event at the 2004 Athens Olympics saw her set a personal best of 6.83 as she finished in the fifth spot.

She is the first and only Indian to win an elite level world title in athletics with her gold medal-winning performance in the 2005 IAAF World Athletics Final (she won silver but was later upgraded to gold after the winner was disqualified).

After bidding adieu to the discipline, she was appointed as the president of the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC) but resigned from the position on June 22, 2016.

In November 2020, she was elected unopposed as the Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) first woman senior vice-president on Saturday. She will serve till 2024.

Anju, 43, currently serves as the chairperson of TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) besides being an executive member of Khelo India project.

Prakash Padukone 

Prakash Padukone

Former World No.1 Prakash Padukone achieved several highs in his career as a badminton player. He was the first Indian to win the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships, which is equivalent to a Grand Slam title in tennis.

Padukone also bagged a gold medal each at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and 1981 World Cup.

He retired from the sport in 1991 and later served as the chairman of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) from 1993 to 1996. Besides that, to help the Olympic athletes fulfill their dreams, he co-founded the Olympic Gold Quest which supports quite a few Olympic hopefuls in the country.

Malav Shroff

Asian Sailing Federation president Malav Shroff 

He is the president of the Asian Sailing Federation president.

Malav Shroff represented the nation at the 2004 Olympics in the 49er Class category. He also participated as a sailor at 1999 Albacore World Champion besides being a youth and national champion. 

He has also served as the International 49er Class president from 2005 to 2012.

Abhishek Yadav

Abhishek Yadav with Praful Patel

Former India striker Abhishek Yadav was appointed as the Deputy General Secretary by the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF).

As a player, he represented the likes of Mahindra United, Churchill Brothers and Mumbai FC during his playing days and was instrumental in India’s LG Cup win in 2002, scoring a winner in the final.

After retiring from the sport, Yadav initiated the Sports Authority of India (SAI)-AIFF international scouting project which helped them find key players who went on to be a part of the 2017 India U-17 World Cup squad. He also contributed immensely to the revival of the Indian Arrows project after the 2017 U17 World Cup.