Cricket – Still Very Much A Gentle-‘MAN’s’ Game!
Mithali Raj, the current skipper of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team is outstanding, and is an expert in breaking records. She’s the youngest woman cricketer to hit an ODI century, and her record score of 214 in Test Cricket, speaks for itself. Another sensational player, veteran, Jhulan Goswami, is the highest wicket taker in the women’s ODI Cricket history.
So what? How does that matter? Does it make a difference at all?
It is always the Kohlis and Dhonis making headlines. Well, no offence against them, they are our national heroes, and we love them! With due respect to the men’s cricket team, we have to be honest about the fact that women’s cricket is highly underrated, while men’s cricket is always celebrated. Women cricketers are all unsung heroes not only in our country, but worldwide. For instance, people have heard about Steve Smith and David Warner, but how many take interest in news related to Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry? One major disparity that caught the attention of umpteen sports lovers was the astonishing wage gap – Virat Kohli earning a salary of 7 crores and Mithali Raj, only 50 Lakhs. BCCI was also trolled for this outright discrimination on social media.
Don’t women put in the same amount of effort, blood, sweat, toil and tear while playing the game as men? Then why does Cricket still remain a man’s game? Besides, male cricketers also get to endorse a number of prestigious and global brands; how many advertisements showcase women cricketers?
The last time the Women’s World Cup Tournament was held in India, half the stadium was empty. Whereas, when our men go and play abroad, the stadiums are always jam-packed with both Indians and foreigners alike. SAD!
It’s high time more and more awareness is spread about Women’s Cricket worldwide. Numerous campaigns must also be run on social media by the respective cricket boards. But all said and done, what about the MINDSET?
Over the years, as far as our country is concerned, people’s minds have been framed and moulded into one-track objects, where only Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag reign supreme, rather than Anjum Chopra and Diana Edulji.
If we change our mindset, we will see Punam Raut and Shikhar Dhawan in the same light some day. We are waiting for the day when Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will create the same number of headlines and generate the same amount of craze as Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya.
Well, in a country where men dominate and in a society full of chauvinism where women are battered, ill-treated, considered a liability, burnt for dowry and raped for sexual pleasure, and also savoured as an eye candy, what can we expect?