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No Cricket - The Women in Blue left in the dark

No Cricket - The Women in Blue left in the dark

Abhijit Nair

Published: 16 Dec 2020 7:46 AM GMT

When was the last time we saw the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and others in the India blue? While the Indian men’s team resumed their ventures post COVID-19 with a full-fledged Indian Premier League followed by the tour of Australia, with the Test series starting tomorrow. women’s cricket in the country is in limbo.

After a few question marks, the BCCI organised a three-team Women’s T20 Challenge alongside the IPL playoffs. However, post its conclusion, there has been nothing to play for the top women players in the country.

In fact, the last time the Indian women were in action in an international match was when they suffered a heart-breaking loss against Australia in the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup on 8th March 2020. Now, that’s a long nine months without an international game.

Now, it would be understandable if their counterparts in other countries were going through a similar ordeal. However, Australia, England, New Zealand and West Indies have already resumed their international schedule while Pakistan recently announced their tour of South Africa starting on 20th January 2020. Moreover, Cricket Australia even hosted a month long Women’s Big Bash League.

If it has been nine long months since Indian women donned the blue jersey, it is worse in the ODI department. The last ODI Indian women competed in dates back to 6th November 2019 against the West Indies. That’s a whole year without a single ODI, unacceptable in any sport, let alone cricket.

The pandemic-induced break is just one part of the problem. According to reports, the Indian women are currently without a manager and a physio as both Trupti Bhattacharya and Tracy Fernandes’ contract for the positions expired. Besides, the tenure of head coach, WV Raman, is also expected to run out by the end of the year.

When the BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced a plan to resume domestic cricket in the country with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Tournament a few days back in the form of a mail to state associations, it failed to have a single mention about the resumption of women’s cricket in the country.

While the Indian men’s team already have a jam-packed schedule with a home series planned against England after their Australian tour, the next confirmed game for the Indian women’s team is at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in March, 2022. They definitely deserve better than this.

Also read: Shantha Rangaswamy – The pioneering figure of women’s cricket in India

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