Gone are the days, when women’s cricket was considered to be futile when readership and viewership of their matches were abysmally low when Board’s assistance was a sole indicator of their success when broadcasters were reluctant to telecast matches when investment in development was locked in the planning process when they struggled to stamp their authority in a male-dominated game.
In the last couple of years, the world has seen a significant turnaround in Women’s Cricket administration.
For the first time, the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England was broadcast live on television, with a $2 million (£1.52 million) total prize money; a phenomenal increase from the paltry $200,000 (£152,000) in 2013. Building on from that success, women’s cricket is inspiring a new generation to take up the sport.
Women’s cricket has now become a feasible career choice for the next generation with improved pay at the professional level, and the various governing bodies striving to ensure that the women’s game has a more global revelation.
Isa Guha is a former England cricketer who has played the 2005 and 2009 World Cup. She started playing cricket since the age of 8 and was selected for the English side while she was 13. She currently is a cricket commentator, television and radio cricket broadcaster.
Lately, when she was in a conversation with Mel Jones discussing the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup she said that she is impressed with the rising quality of women’s cricket.
When she was asked about looking forward to the most in the upcoming T20 World Cup, Guha replied, “Just the skill-levels, I think. Because the WBBL has gone to another level and the skills of people have gone to another level.”
“The one thing I love about watching women’s cricket is that the players I used to play against, like Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy… just love seeing how they have gone to this unbelievable level of cricket, which I just didn’t think was possible. It has given me the most joy to see how they have developed,” she added.
On being asked about her former team, she said: “Good to see the England girls too. They don’t get as flustered by big occasions anymore, they love the big occasions, which is good.
“I watched the [Brisbane] Heat in the WBBL final and the run chase was conducted so perfectly. They didn’t panic at all, at any stage. That’s always a big step for women’s cricket,”.
As the years keep passing by more and more young women are inspired to take up cricket. And hence, we are seeing an increase in the number of women taking up and succeeding in the sport. While more work needs to be done, the future is looking bright for women’s cricket.