When Indian women’s cricket team were subject to racism during the World Cup
Former Indian cricketer Jaya Sharma has revealed how she and her teammates were subjected to racism during the 2005 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
Former Indian women’s cricketer Jaya Sharma has revealed in a Facebook live session how she and her teammates were subjected to racism by the organisers during the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
According to her, the Indian team were only the second team to arrive in South Africa for the tournament. However, despite that, they were allotted rooms with no air-conditioning or even fans. Apparently, the buildings which had the best provisions, were already reserved for the ‘white’ teams.
“We were the second team to arrive at the venue and they (the organisers) had arranged for us to stay at these one-story, two-storied buildings, 7-8 of them. They welcomed us and they said that we can move into our building. We went to see the buildings that we had been allotted. To our surprise, our building, which was the sixth or seventh building, had no fans or ACs,” Sharma recalled.
“As a team, we were shaken. How can they not even provide fans? Our manager went and spoke to the organisers but he was told that the first 3-4 buildings were already reserved for the white teams. And those buildings had ACs, had everything basically,” she said.
Jaya Sharma (Source: ESPN Cricinfo)
The former opening batswoman, who was the first female recipient of the BCCI player of the year award (2007), however believes that the incident spurred the team on. It inspired the Indian eves and motivated them to do well. “It became more of a mission, united us and consequently, we did well,” conceded Sharma. “Once we made it to the final, though, they had to move us to the first building.”
Indeed, the Indian team, led by Mithali Raj, exceeded all expectations by making it to the final for the very first time, the first Asian team to do so. In the seven group stage matches, they lost only one, registering four wins. Then, in the semifinals, they beat New Zealand, inspired by a classic 91 not out by Mithali. In the final, though, Australia outplayed them in all aspects to take home the trophy.