I endorse technology if it's fool-proof: Tendulkar

Mumbai, June 2 (IANS) Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is still not sure the Decision Review System (DRS) is close to 100 percent fool-proof for him to accept it.

When technology is seen as a panacea for all on-field questionable decisions by umpires, Tendulkar says he is all for technology provided it is foolproof.

"I endorse any technology that is close to being 100 percent. I have an issue with half-baked technologies. If it's close to foolproof I don't have a problem with it," Tendulkar told IANS in an interview.

"Technology is fast becoming an important factor in every sport but we have to be careful to see it is not overdone," he added.

India is the only country not to accept this technology in cricket. While every country uses DRS in bilateral Test series, India refuses to employ it for the matches it plays.

Football, too, after a lot of deliberation, has agreed to use goal-line technology to ascertain if the ball has crossed the line. Tennis is another sport which for sometime has been using hawk-eye technology for line calls.

Speaking about the NDTV Marks for Sports campaign, Tendulkar said: "Schools need to integrate sports as a proper curriculum. Marks for sports is a great initiative and a great idea. But it has to be properly implemented. And if that happens then youngsters will have the opportunity to seriously take sports as a career.

"Parents also need to get involved and make decision making easier for their children," he added.

The Mark for Sports initiative, started in March 2011, will push for the inclusion of sports in the school curriculum.

Sachin, who made his Test debut as a 16-year-old, said more emphasis needs to be placed on school- and college-level tournaments. He also pointed out that grassroots infrastructure needed to improve a lot for the country to nurture young talent.

"I have always taken a keen interest in other sports and if opportunities to promote other games come my way I will always take up the offer," he said.

"There is so much sporting talent in our country. We need to identify that talent and nurture it... give it a direction so that it can excel. We need to improve our grassroots infrastructure and catch the talented kids at an early stage.

"It has to be a structured programme and will take years of proper nurturing. There has to be a proper diet and physical fitness sessions in gyms. We should look at other countries where collegiate games are so big. We need to do solid groundwork," Tendulkar added.

Tendulkar, who is an avid sports fan and has often been seen at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments, besides waving the chequered flag at the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix, said the corporates needed to play a bigger role in promoting sports.

"Corporates need to play a bigger role for sports to grow in the country. Ample money should be pumped in and proper infrastructure needs to be set up. Tournaments such as the Coca-Cola Cup are a great platform for youngsters to showcase their skills," he said.

(Santosh Rao can be contacted at santosh.r@ians.in)

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