We had asked around a few people to name one woman cricketer who plays for India.
“Um.. aaahh,” many had responded.
“Anjum? Anjum something,” some had said, referring to Anjum Chopra.
“There is women’s cricket team too?” one man had exclaimed, shocked.
The Indian women’s cricket team has been up and about since 1976. It is one of the eight teams in the ICC Women’s Championship, which the highest level of international women’s cricket. Organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the team is currently led by the fierce Mithali Raj.
The Indian team has seen a large number of amazing players. Some of them include Diana Edulji who is the highest wicket taker of the game with 120 wickets, Anjum Chopra, who was the face of women’s cricket in India, ranked 9th highest run scorer all over the world. Mithali Raj is fifth in the same list and is India’s all time lead scorer.
Unfortunately, in a country like India where cricket runs in our blood, when it comes to women playing the same game, people stop caring.
The number of people who watch women’s cricket are a bare minimum. The names of the female players are lost in the crowd. Media in our country never covered these games before India won the Asia cup.
It is nearly in 2016 that women cricketers are financially secure, when BCCI granted central contracts to each player. Until then, the players had to struggle to earn through playing and it was their sheer passion that kept them going in the game.
But still, girls have to struggle to get coaching and start playing. And the first obstacle they face is their own family.
All you girls who love sports, try telling your parents you want to make a career in it. Tell them you want to be a cricketer. They will simply stare at you in disbelief.
“It’s a boy’s game my child, how will a girl play it?” they would say.
And if it was their son who had said this then they would have immediately enrolled him in a cricket club and encouraged him to try out for local teams.
Isn’t it about time we fill out this difference?
Women cricket is evolving slowly, it is making a mark in the world. It’s about time we take notice.
The ICC Twenty20 World Cup is coming up in March for both men and women. Let’s support both the Indian teams this time instead of only one. Let’s watch them both make the country proud.
Let’s watch them both get the cup home.