The 41-year-old three-time Lok Sabha member from Hamripur in Himachal Pradesh was responding to a journalist’s call for his comment on politicians heading various sports bodies in India.
“If politicians can run the country, they can run the sport bodies also,” Thakur told reporters here.
“One should appreciate the hard work done by them. I was a cricketer first, then sports administrator later, then I became a politician. That does not disqualify me for becoming sports administrator. So they have contributed in creating infrastructure and that (politicians heading sports bodies) helps,” he added.
Thakur also pointed out that elections are held to state sports bodies and players also contest the polls and get elected.
He added that big names like former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, among others, were part of the cricket associations in their respective states.
“I have come from sports to politics but, sports not really is the gateway to politics. If it is the gateway also, there’s nothing in that because politics also is a platform to work for the country,” Thakur said.