HomeSportsCricketBreaking Barriers: Scope of Women’s Cricket in India
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Breaking Barriers: Scope of Women’s Cricket in India

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Scope of Women’s Cricket in India: Women have emerged victorious in terms of creating an impression in the history of cricket. Women have been playing cricket for centuries, but it was not before the 21st century that women’s cricket gained significant importance. They always had to struggle to gain public acceptance in terms of sports and other factors alike. 

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A Peek in the History

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In India, Women’s cricket officially emerged in the 1970s when the Women’s Cricket Association of India was formed in 1973. The Indian women’s team played their debut Test match in 1976, against the West Indies, One Day International (ODI) debut at the 1978 World Cup, which it hosted. Furthermore, India made its T20I debut in 2006, against England.

Present Scenes

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Image Source: The Indian Express

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At present, Indian women are reaching new heights in the field of Cricket. The women’s cricket team is bringing countless laurels and is garnering significant attention and the respect they deserve. Indian women cricketers have championed the Women’s Asia Cup seven times and ended up as runner-ups in several international games. Moreover, the Indian team has also won four times over several nations in Women’s Test Matches. However, the spotlight of Indian cricket is yet to shift from the men’s team. The women’s cricket team is still devoid of getting the same amount of media coverage as the men’s team.

A Step towards Equality

The BCCI played a huge role in empowering women cricketers by implementing a pay equity policy. On October 27, 2022, the BCCI announced the implementation of the pay equity policy to close the gender gap and induce the development of women’s cricket. Such revolutionary decisions and implementations play a key role in the enhancement of the scope for women in cricket.

Contribution to the Growth of Women’s Cricket

The notable growth of women’s cricket academies in various states of India has further enhanced the scope of women’s cricket. The state of Andhra Pradesh is a leading example in this regard. The state has built a structure for youngsters. The state’s two-time Under-19 victory in the state tournaments has proved it. The team was also the runners-up at the senior level twice, and runners-up in the U-19 domestic T20 tournament.

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BCCI’s former General Manager of Game Development, Ratnakar Shetty, in a panel discussion at The Sports Law & Policy Symposium 2021 on women’s cricket and gender issues in sport, said,

“Men’s cricket, the entry-level is very early, and they only exit in their late 30s. They have no obstacles on travel, no safety issues that women face. We need to ensure no obstacles hinder the growth of women cricketers and, gender sensitization of coaches, athletes, etc. is undertaken by state associations. The issues girls face are different from what boys face and we need to understand and address that. This will help them remain in the system and maximize their potential.”

Indian Women’s cricket team ranks fourth in both the ODI and T20I rankings of ICC. Women cricketers like Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma rank among the top 10 cricketers in different categories in the ICC rankings. These women cricketers have paved the way for the development of women’s cricket in India. 

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Indian women’s cricket team outplayed England to win U-19 T20 World Cup 2023 by 7 wickets (Image Source: Moneycontrol)

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Scope of Women in Cricket

The scope of women in Indian cricket has been increasing over the years, thanks to the notable achievements of women cricketers like Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma.

The implementation of a pay equity policy by the BCCI has further empowered women cricketers and induced the development of women’s cricket. The growth of women’s cricket academies in various states of India has also enhanced the scope of women’s cricket, with the state of Andhra Pradesh being a leading example.

Apart from regular international cricket, women cricketers can also showcase their potential in tournaments like the Women’s Premier League (WPL) and Women’s Big Bash League. 

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Image Source: MPL

Women cricketers are gaining significant popularity with time. Apart from the huge crowd gathering to watch women’s cricket matches, women cricketers are also getting millions of followers on social media. Women cricketers are becoming fan favorites with time, and the sport is also gathering noteworthy attention.


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FAQ

What is the current state of women’s cricket in India?

Women’s cricket in India is growing steadily, with the Indian women’s team achieving success on the international stage.

What initiatives have been taken to promote women’s cricket in India?

The BCCI has implemented a pay equity policy, and several states have established women’s cricket academies to promote women’s cricket in India.

What role do state associations and coaches play in promoting women’s cricket in India?

State associations and coaches play a crucial role in promoting women’s cricket in India by providing equal opportunities, addressing gender-specific challenges, and encouraging the growth of women’s cricket at the local level.

Who are some of the top women cricketers in India?

Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma are some of the top women cricketers in India.

How many times has the Indian Women’s Cricket team reached the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup?

The Indian Women’s Cricket team has reached the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup twice, in 2005, and 2017. However, the Indian team couldn’t win either time.

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