It is often the weakest that suffers the most from disruptions. In the times of the pandemic, this hypothesis stands true more than ever. Women’s cricket has suffered the most when the game was completely out of contention and now seems to have gone in a cold bag when revival is on track.
The recent release from ICC has given air to such speculation. Heather Knight recently added that the event was feasible. There have been statements by known players that have warned boards of the future when the pandemic might become an excuse for not organizing events of women’s cricket. Knight took to Twitter and said “Pretty gutted, to be honest. I know tough decisions have to be made right now & it would have taken a lot of work (and $$), but it was feasible in NZ”.
Heather Knight said that the event was “feasible”, differing with the ICC’s decision to push it from next year to February-March of 2022 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. #WomensWorldCup #WomensCricket pic.twitter.com/Fi5pnzSjkB
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 9, 2020
She went a step ahead and said further that “Hopefully it’s not an excuse for boards to put women’s cricket on the back burner for the next 12 months with no WC to prepare for”.
It is interesting to note that New Zealand has recorded a total of 1569 COVID cases. Fortunately, most of the patients have recovered successfully. New Zealand is one of the least affected countries amidst the pandemic. As per the schedule, the country had to host the world cup from February 6 to March 7 in 2021.
ICC Board Meeting held via teleconference decided that the 12th edition of Women’s ODI World Cup will be delayed. The chief executive said that “We have taken the decision to move the Women’s World Cup to give players from every competing nation, the best opportunity to be ready for the world’s biggest stage and there is still a global qualifier to complete to decide the final three teams”.
He further added that “Moving the event by 12 months gives all competing teams the chance to play a sufficient level of cricket ahead of both the qualification event and leading into a Cricket World Cup so the integrity of the tournament is maintained”.
The onus lies with ICC, national cricketing boards, and administrators to ensure that women and their male counterparts are not subject to a discriminatory and revenue-driven future. On one side, IPL and test series are a reality for men and on the other side female cricketers have nothing but uncertainty.