Amid demands from some quarters that Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan be made the brand ambassador of Commonwealth Games, chairman of the Games organising committee Suresh Kalmadi Tuesday said he would prefer younger sporting icons as brand ambassadors of the mega event to be held Oct 3-14.
“Personally, I would like younger sporting icons as brand ambassadors,” Kalmadi told IANS.
Asked about BJP leader V.K. Malhotra’s suggestion that Bachchan be made the brand ambassador, Kalmadi said the executive board or the organising committee had not given a thought to it and only they can take a decision on it.
Talking to reporters after launching the sale of tickets for the April 12-18 Badminton Asia Championships at Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence Tuesday, Kalmadi said he would prefer sportspersons and not Bollywood stars, but that doesn’t mean he was opposed to Bachchan.
Reacting to Kalmadi’s remarks, Malhotra said that the chairman had no authority to take an arbitrary decision since it is only the organising committee that can take a decision on such matters.
“What does he mean by younger sporting icons? He should look at the age of the people connected with the Games, starting from the prime minister, sports minister, Delhi chief minister, the union urban development minister, Lt. governor of Delhi to himself (Kalmadi). What has age to do with the appointment of the brand ambassadors?” he said.
In a letter to Kalmadi Saturday, Malhotra, who is also the Indian Olympic Association senior vice-president and the executive board member of the Games organising committee, said that given the Bollywood superstar’s credentials and star status, he would be the best choice for being the brand ambassador of the international sporting event.