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WOMEN’S CRICKET HAS ITS OWN FAN BASE NOW:
MITHALI Mithali Raj explains how BCCI’s recent move to end pay parity will make the sport a viable career option for women
Last month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ended the long-existing pay parity debate by announcing that all its women and men cricketers falling under the central contract will be financially acknowledged without any bias. While former India cricketer Mithali Raj was one of the first to hail the decision on Twitter, she recently caught up with us to explain in detail how the move shows confidence in women’s cricket as a career option.
“All these organisations and the board members are making great efforts to get women cricket or to make the women’s team of the nation equal. This decision of the BCCI is a landmark one, and it can be a great example not just for the all the girls on the field, but other federations too,” Raj tells us.
The 39-year-old feels the decision paves way for equality: “It is a great decision because it reflects that women’s cricket on its own is now a sustainable career. Parents can now allow the girls to take up this profession. Earlier, there was no money. In the past five years, one can see that women’s cricket has grown not just in terms of standards but also viewership. Women’s cricket has its own fan base. The graph of women is definitely on the rise.”
The former cricketer, who recently made her commentating debut on Star Sports with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, is happy to see the world of cricket become inclusive not just on the field but behind the camera also. “When it comes to broadcasting of matches or commentating, a lot many times you see men around during the expert comment section or analysis. Now, it is very refreshing to see many women work behind the stage as well… Having these women around brings comfort and confidence in the atmosphere,” she says, adding that her experience as commentator was very enriching.
Opening up about India’s performance at the ICC
Men’s T20 World Cup, Raj shares that it was the strategy that didn’t work in favour of the team blue. “Our team has been very good in the league.
But you can’t have the same template when getting into the knockout. I think India could have had something else in terms of the strategies during the knockout. Maybe one or two strategies which were different from what they did in the group stage,” she wraps up.
Parents can now allow the girls to take up this profession. Earlier, there was no money. In the past five years, women’s cricket has grown not just in terms of standards but also viewership. MITHALI RAJ, Former cricketer