Women On The Cricket Pitch
Till about 10-15 years ago, women’s cricket was the shadow of the flame: men’s cricket. Today, it’s more than just the silhouette even though it’s not as bright as the fire. It burns and in the years to come, it’ll shine like the flame: bright, strong and intense.
Women's cricket has gained significant popularity over the years. It was a revolution during the 2017 World Cup when the Indian Eves went from being barely noticed to becoming national sensations when they reached the finals.
In 2021, the Marylebone Cricket Club, the guardians of cricket, abolished the term ‘batsman.’ It was replaced by ‘batter’ in an attempt to bring gender neutrality to the game. With the increasing popularity of women’s cricket, there have also been calls to adopt more gender-neutral terms to encourage females to play cricket and as an attempt to remove gender disparity in this field. The 2023 women’s IPL, too, was proof as well that women’s cricket has finally started to earn the respect it deserved from the very beginning.
Former India women's cricket captain Anjum Chopra praised the spirited show put up by Indian girls at Tokyo. However, the 44-year-old feels that it's time that people stop making references like 'women in sports,’ and rather identify it from a 'gender neutral’ perspective.
Today there are an estimated two billion cricket fans worldwide, of which 39 per cent are female. [This is a major improvement from what it used to be.]
The evolution of women’s cricket as a sport and as an industry over the past few years has been
dramatic. As we watch the best of these players take to the pitch, we should remember that their very presence is the result of a long, often forgotten, struggle on the part of generations of women wanting to play this male-dominated sport at the highest levels possible.
There is still a lot to be done to enhance women’s cricket [Even today, when you google the words ‘Who is the current captain of India’s cricket team?’ only men's cricket results show up] but looking at how the situation has drastically changed over the past few years, it seems that women are catching up on the cricket pitch.