Sudha Shah, former India captain, has been made a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). The news comes as a surprise to her, she said.
The 62-year old has already donned the role of National team coach and selector. And now she has been selected to be a part of the CAC of Tamil Nadu.
“It’s good for women that they have a representative in the CAC. I will have my focus both on the men’s team, where winning the Ranji Trophy is our goal, and the women’s team,” said Shah.
Talking about Rupa Gurunath being the president of the TNCA, Sudha averred, “She really broke the glass ceiling. A few years ago if anyone had said a woman was going to become the president of a State Cricket Association, everyone would have laughed. I am keen to meet her, and, in particular, discuss the State’s women’s cricket with her.”
There is no doubt that the Tamil Nadu women’s team has a lot of talent, however, they have failed to deliver in the domestic competitions. She noted, “Not too long ago, Tamil Nadu was a force in women’s cricket. That is not the case now. We are not even qualifying for the next stage. Because they do not make it to the later phases of a tournament, their visibility is low. Their performances do not get noticed. Girls from other States score over them.”
Apart from Thirush Kamini, there are hardly any players in the recent past from Tamil Nadu that have gone on to play for India. Sudha observed, “It’s sad. But if we take the right steps, our girls will be back in contention.”
In order to build a strong team, it is important that the girls are given attention right from a very young age. The focus should be on developing the younger sides which in turn will reflect in stronger senior teams. Sudha concluded, “A lot of thought and effort is needed to improve our junior structure. Once that happens, our bench strength will improve.”
The former India captain feels that the CAC can play an instrumental role in shaping the cricket of Tamil Nadu.