Cricket, for very long, has been considered a “Gentleman’s game”. The dynamic becomes more interesting in India where people look up to this game as a religion and consider cricketers as Gods. In the last few years, Indian women cricketers too have proved their mettle with stellar performances and managed to expand their audience at the national and international level.
Nurturing the dream of helping the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, former Indian women cricketer Shantha Rangaswamy expressed her desire to have an IPL-style cricket league for women as well. In an interview with Indian Express, she said:
“We can have an IPL for women provided we widen the base for the girls. We have enough players to launch such a league. I think India should have taken the initiative when the IPL was started 10 years ago. It has turned out to be a grand concept with entertainment, glamour, name and fame, not to forget the money, making it an attractive tournament.”
Shantha believes that despite initial reservations, sponsors would be interested in a women’s cricket league. An IPL-style league for women would encourage girls interested in sports to take it up as a career.
“I am happy I could convince my parents to allow me to play cricket”-Shubhangi Kulkarni
Former cricketer, Shubhangi Kulkarni, backed her suggestion to initiate women’s cricket league.
“We should have launched one before the Big Bash (in Australia). There is good potential for women’s cricket in India. In fact, an IPL for women was one of the suggestions in the vision plan we gave to the BCCI last year. I will be happy if the current lot does well in terms of money. It will give splendid opportunities to players in India to take cricket seriously,” she said.
Shubhangi added that she has witnessed many good players give up their cricketing career to become bureaucrats, doctors and chartered accountants but she chose to stick to cricket.“I am happy I could convince my parents to allow me to play cricket”, she beamed.
Both these Cricket doyens, along with seven other contemporary women cricketers have been bestowed with the MCC membership that gives them the privilege to watch a Cricket match at Lord’s.
In a country that still raises eyebrows at their daughters’ decision to pursue sports, a tournament for women based on the IPL format is a wonderful idea to promote cricket among girls. Besides pushing more and more cricket aficionados for taking up the game seriously, it will also help the country do away with a lot of bias surrounding women and sports.
Image credits: The Hindu