Examples that show how the country and the board failed female cricketers

Women‘s cricket is often said to be ‘lacking intention’. First of all, it’s factually incorrect, but if someone asked my opinion, I would find it completely understandable even if it were true. The way women’s cricket is treated, especially in India, is appalling to say the least. Imagine, if you were discriminated against for something as fundamental to your identity as your gender, and then you were disrespected, given no attention, and given no what was due to you, would you be able to find motivation? Probably not.

Source: Hindustan Times

These women, however, continue to do their best and we should all be grateful to them. Also, we should be ashamed. For perspective, here are some examples to show how unfairly female cricketers are treated in this country.

1. The fact that the men’s cricket team didn’t have much to eat at the 1983 World Cup because England weren’t prepared for vegetarians still grabs the headlines, and roughly. But can you imagine the women’s cricket team skipped breakfast during the World Cup in 2017? The hotel they were staying at told them they couldn’t serve breakfast, so they ate samosas before the semi-final against Australia. The women won this semi-final for the country.

Things were so bad that Harmanpreet Kaur, who reached an all-time high of 171* in this match, had to deliberately cross the line to avoid singles as the lack of food was causing him cramps.

2. Women’s team shirts were made from spare clothing from men’s cricket until very recently. This was shared by former BCCI chief Vinod Rai, who said:

I was appalled to know that the men’s uniforms were cut and sewn for the female players. I had to call Nike and tell them that was not the case and that their design would be different.

India women's cricket
Source: The SportsRush

3. Their salaries are not even comparable to those of male cricketers. The issue first became a national issue news in 2018 when people, for the first time, really noticed the pay gap between the two teams.

bcci contracts
Source: Twitter

4. And that’s when things supposedly “got better.” In 2017, after the heartbreaking defeat in the World Cup final, Mithali Raj mentioned that she traveled wholeheartedly on trains as a national player because women’s cricket was not governed by the Council at that time.

There have been many difficulties in my journey. Now we are under the BCCI, but at this time the normal basic setup that a sportsman can even play (we didn’t even understand that). As an Indian cricketer, I traveled wholeheartedly from Hyderabad to Delhi by train, as an Indian player.

sexism in sport
Source: News 18

5. The BCCI did not pay the women’s cricket team, vice-world champions 2020, its cash prize for more than 14 months. Even by their own admission, they received the ICC amount in 8 months (and that was supposed to be his defense).

BCCI said it did not give the players the prize money due to the then-ongoing fight with ICC over taxation, which would have meant cricketers would have had a good cut of what they were getting. However, as many have rightly argued, BCCI could have taken the initiative to pay players so much on their side when the issue was sorted out. You can’t hide their money from them. It wasn’t about the players.

There is still so much to be desired.

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