Women have triumphed when it comes to leaving a mark on cricket history. Even though women have been playing cricket for centuries, women’s cricket did not become particularly significant until the twenty-first century. They have always had to fight for public acceptance in both athletics and other areas. On this note, let us take a look at the Scope of Women’s Cricket in India: A Step towards Equality.
Scope of Women’s Cricket in India
A Peek in the History
When the Women’s Cricket Association of India was established in 1973, women’s cricket in India became a recognized sport in the 1970s. The Indian women’s team played its first Test match in 1976 against the West Indies, and it hosted the 1978 World Cup, where it made its ODI debut. India also played its first T20I against England in 2006.
Indian women are currently excelling in the sport of cricket. The women’s cricket team is winning numerous awards, receiving a great deal of attention, and earning the respect they rightfully deserve. The Indian women’s cricket team has won the Women’s Asia Cup seven times and placed second in several international matches. Additionally, the Indian team has triumphed four times in women’s test matches against a variety of opponents.
However, the men’s team continues to hold most of the attention in Indian cricket. The women’s cricket team continues to receive less media attention than the men’s team.
A Step Towards Equality
By enacting a pay equity policy, the BCCI significantly contributed to the empowerment of female cricket players. The BCCI declared on October 27, 2022, that it will introduce a pay equity policy to eliminate the gender wage gap and encourage the growth of women’s cricket. Such ground-breaking choices and actions are crucial to increasing the opportunities for women in cricket.
Contribution to the Growth of Women’s Cricket
The popularity of women’s cricket has increased as a result of the noteworthy expansion of women’s cricket academies across several Indian states. A prime example of this is the state of Andhra Pradesh. A building for children has been constructed by the state. The state has demonstrated this by winning the Under-19 state tournament two times. The group placed second in both the U-19 domestic T20 competition and at the senior level twice.
In a panel discussion on women’s cricket and gender concerns in sport at The Sports Law & Policy Symposium 2021, Ratnakar Shetty, the former general manager of game development for the BCCI, said,
“Men only leave men’s cricket in their late 30s, and admission levels are relatively early. They don’t have the same travel restrictions or safety concerns as women do. We must make sure that no barriers stand in the way of female cricketers’ development, and state associations must promote gender equality among coaches, athletes, and others. We must recognize and address the fact that the problems faced by females differ from those faced by boys. This will enable them to fulfill their potential while staying in the system.”
Both the ODI and T20I rankings of the ICC place the Indian Women’s cricket team fourth. According to the ICC rankings, female cricketers Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma are among the top 10 players in various categories. The growth of women’s cricket in India has been facilitated by these female cricketers.
Women’s Cricket and Its Impact
Thanks to the noteworthy accomplishments of female cricketers like Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma, the role of women in Indian cricket has expanded throughout time.
The BCCI’s establishment of a pay equity policy has increased the power of female cricket players and encouraged the growth of women’s cricket. The expansion of women’s cricket academies in several Indian states, with the state of Andhra Pradesh serving as a notable example, has further broadened the sport’s appeal.
Women’s cricket players can show off their talent in competitions like the Women’s Premier League (WPL) and Women’s Big Bash League in addition to regular international cricket.
Women who play cricket are becoming much more well-known over time. In addition to the large crowds who gather to watch women’s cricket matches, female cricketers are gaining millions of social media followers. With time, female cricket players are winning over fans’ hearts, and the sport as a whole is attracting notable attention.
Also read, The Shining Legacy Of Women in Indian Sports