May 2, 2010 by admin
It is common knowledge that the T20 World Cup tournament 2010 commenced on April 30th in the West Indies. What is not so commonly known is the fact that the same country will also host the Women’s T20 World Cup tournament simultaneously. Men’s cricket hogs all the media attention, however insignificant the match may be. Women’s cricket sadly has few takers.
The inaugural edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup was held in 2009 along with the Men’s Cup. The English team emerged as winners. This year’s tournament starts on May 5th and ends on May 16th. All the group matches will be played at the Warner Park Sporting Complex in St. Kitts whereas St. Lucia will host the semifinals. The finals will be played in Barbados.
There are 2 groups:
Group A: England, Australia, West Indies and South Africa.
Group B: New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The Indian women will play their 1st match against New Zealand on May 6th. They will play Pakistan on May 8th and Sri Lanka on May 10th.
The Indian Women’s team members:
Jhulan Goswami (Capt.), Poonam Raut, Anjum Chopra, Anagha Deshpande, Gouhar Sultana, Diana David, Rumeli Dhar, Sulakshana Naik, Priyanka Roy, Reema Malhotra, Soniya Dabir, Amita Sharma, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur
The players of note are captain Jhulan Goswami who has claimed more than 100 wickets, batswoman Mithali Raj, the former captain Anjum Chopra and the the all-rounder Rumeli Dhar. In the ICC Women’s ODI ranking, Jhulan tops the bowlers’ charts while Mitali leads the batswomen charts.
The major problem in women’s cricket is of course lack of sponsors, as it does not command mass support as men’s cricket does. The BCCI needs to build up interest around this game. The media is also to blame; it is interested even in a non-performing men’s team and ignores a performing women’s team. Case in point was last year’s T20 World Cup. The much hyped men’s team lost all the super 8 matches whereas the women’s team reached the semi-finals.
In spite of this, a few days ago, newspapers prominently featured news of Dhoni and his men embarking on the West Indies tour. Jhulan Goswami and her team were given almost a complete miss. But the situation regarding money and facilities, is much better than what it was prior to 2006, the year BCCI took over women’s cricket. Then, players had to depend on Air India and Indian Railways for jobs. BCCI’s overflowing coffers were of great help. Even now however, there is a tangible difference between the pays of men and women cricketers.
The media would do better by focussing on women’s cricket and helping its cause instead of speculating on non-issues like the identity of the lady Dhoni is currently seeing or whom Yuvraj Singh is dating. The consolation is that despite lack of encouragement, even women from conservative backgrounds, like Gouhar Sultana have worked hard, withstood societal pressure and made it to the women’s team.
Author: Pratibha Shenoy (Bangalore)
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