After putting on stellar performances in this year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, as well as in every international appearance over the last three years, one would have guessed that the Indian women’s cricket team was well on its way to global stardom. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Now left with no selectors, no international tours, and no domestic fixtures, the future of the women’s cricket team seems to be rather bleak.
The team was left without a selection committee back in January, when the previous panel completed its tenure. While a committee was swiftly hired for the men’s team, no appointments have been made for the women yet. The women’s team will also soon be left without a manager, with reports saying that the contract of Tripti Bhattacharya, who also doubled up as the team’s media manager, has not been renewed. To make matters worse, there’s also been no word on a replacement for Saba Karim, the former wicket keeper, who looked after the development of women’s cricket in his role as the BCCI general manager (cricket operations), before his resignation in June.
It should probably come as no surprise then that the team was made to pull out of a bilateral series that was to be held in England last month. The reason given — fears of travelling over the coronavirus outbreak — wasn’t seen as too convincing. The South African women’s team will now extend its tour of England to make up for India’s absence. Even as the BCCI put a halt to the ODIs in England citing logistical problems, the same board pushed hard for a rescheduled India Premier League to be held in the UAE.
In an interview with ESPN, Mithali Raj, Indian team’s captain, said that “Some of the momentum that had been built between India’s success in World Cup 2017 and World T20 2020 has been lost,” she said. Is BCCI once again given preferential treatment to the men’s team? With reports now confirming that the IPL will go ahead as planned in the UAE this September, it’s clear at this point that more needs to be done for our women in blue.
The nation has societal barriers against women and the board is nowhere as rich as ours but the women in green have seen doubling of pays. There is a new contract as well. Boards throughout the globe have refrained from acting in a manner that curtails the growth of the game. England Cricket Board has assured masses of its commitment to revitalize the domestic manifest of female cricket. In times like these, there is a greater need to keep the game on track. Women’s cricket is coming out to masses and such lapses from one of the biggest boards can be harmful.
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