When Shah Rukh Khan's Film Chak De! India Released Hockey Sticks Outsold Cricket Bats
Shah Rukh Khan’s Film Chak De! India Once Inspired Many To Buy Hockey Sticks (Photo Credit: IMDb)

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Shah Rukh Khan’s sports drama Chak De! India was hit the theatres 14 years ago. The film was inspired by the Indian women’s national field hockey team winning the 2002 commonwealth games. It also explored various themes like feminism and sexism, the legacy of the partition of India, racial and religious bigotry, and ethnic and regional prejudice.

The film not only achieved an incredible feat in terms of box office but also shifted the influence on youngsters from hairstyle to hockey sticks. Not many know that the film achieved the impossible. Reportedly, when the film was released on August 10 in a span of two weeks hockey sticks have outsold cricket bats.

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After Shah Rukh Khan and his girl gang hit the cinema halls, demand for hockey equipment had gone up. Interestingly many first-time buyers have been girls. As reported by The Telegraph, Harish Sachdev, director of Bodyline Sports in West Bengal, said, “We have sold about 30 hockey sticks in 10 days. In the same period, only 20-odd cricket bats were sold. On the day the film was released, there were many kids who came to our store to pick up a hockey stick. In the past few days, we have had teenagers and older people buying the equipment.”

The report also mentioned that most hockey sticks sold were in the Rs 150-450 bracket. Furthermore, GK Sports also experienced similar business after Chak De! India was released. GK Sports saw a surge of 30 per cent in the sale of hockey sticks at that time.

“The boost in sales can surely be attributed to the film. Some of the buyers seemed genuinely interested to pursue the sport,” said partner Adeep Kapoor.

While Shah Rukh Khan’s film did shift the attention towards Hockey, many believed that the infrastructure in West Bengal was not up to the mark. 16-year-old Behala girl Shakuntala Shaw said to the publication, “The movie is inspiring and it has created awareness about women’s hockey. But infrastructure here is so appalling that there is little hope for the game.”

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