Former chairman of the Committee of Administrators of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vinod Rai has spoken about his regret over the state of affairs of women’s cricket in India in a recent interview with The Week. Mr Rai has been in the news off late due to his book “Not just a Nightwatchman”, in which he has written about his tenure and his stint with cricket administration.
Speaking about women’s cricket in India, Mr Rai said that he had to call-up then kit manufacturers Nike to ask them to design women’s jerseys separately as earlier the men’s jersey’s were being “cut-up and re-stitched” for the women.
“I do not think women’s cricket has been given the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, women cricketers had not been taken seriously till about 2006, when Mr [Sharad] Pawar took the initiative to merge the men’s and women’s association. I was aghast to know that men’s uniforms were being cut up and re-stitched for women’s players. I had to ring up Nike and tell them that this was not on and that their design would be different.
“I sincerely believe the girls deserved much better [when it came to] training, coaching facilities, cricketing gear, travel facilities and, finally, match fees and retainers. That was lacking and we tried to rectify it,” Mr Rai said.
He also added that women’s cricket got its due attention after India reached the final of the 2017 ICC World Cup, in which Harmanpreet Kaur played a knock of 171 not out to power India to the final.
“That is an alibi for not doing things. Unless you give them support, how are they going to win a trophy? If they could not win in Australia or England, [then] the main thing was mind conditioning. Every team has those mental trainers and sports psychologists.
“My regret was that I had not given due attention to women’s cricket till the match in which Harmanpreet [Kaur] scored 171* in the 2017 Women’s World Cup [against Australia]. She told me: “Sir, I was cramping so I had to hit sixes as I could not run much!” They were told at the hotel that they could not get the food they were supposed to, so they had samosas for breakfast that morning!,” Mr Rai added.
Topics mentioned in this article