Envisioning the South Asian Women’s cricket aspirations

Envisioning the South Asian Women’s cricket aspirations

Some countries are tightly attached to some games, even some countries are recognized with their games they outperform, their integration, solidarity, and national recognition are attached to their sports. Canada’s ice hockey, Brazil’s football, South Africa’s rugby are some of the examples; meanwhile, when it comes to South Asia, certainly its Cricket. For India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, cricket is their most significant sport, even though it is not recognized as their official sport.  These nations made Cricket an important business, attracting many spectaculars including India, Pakistan, and Sri lanka that won the Cricket World Cup by beating conservative powerhouses like England and Australia. Wait! All of the earlier mentioned games were about the Men’s Cricket team, well what about the Women’s team?

When we study women’s sports worldwide besides athletics, tennis, and badminton – viewership is quite low and they have trouble with flawed professionalism, inadequate salaries, the lack of contracts. Women’s sports are not only to be considered during athletic concerns, but lack of interest of the public was also a huge threat to sports. Even western countries and far eastern countries are getting serious with Women’s sports, some countries, especially in the middle east and south Asia, showed a lack of interest. The cultural and religious pressures are pulling them back, where countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia don’t allow women in the stadium to watch Men’s games. Some Middle Eastern countries participate in major international tournaments amidst Islamic laws by covering the body and with limited interaction with fans to satisfy the rules of international bodies, but the tendencies with football in the Middle East and by Cricket in South Asia are referred as revolutionary by experts in politics and sports fields. Women’s Cricket was introduced in India and Pakistan in the 20th century, it was idle and meant for the board to satisfy the rules. People denied to watch the match, talent hunting became a big hurdle, and the overall sport neglected in business and its aspiration.

In 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup was a game-changer for the Indian team, which entered the final and performed some quality games. Although they lost the final against England, the performance of the team made a massive impression across the country, the social media and broadcaster’s interest hiked like never before. The fame obtained by players like Mitahali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harman Preet, and Smrithi Mandhana helped to attract supporters to the stadium and increase viewership. The outlook of the youth population in India also bettered, a lot of movies are released featuring women’s cricket after India’s dream run in 2017, Tamil language movie “Kanaa” made an impact on public and critics. Pakistan also switched their minds, players like Sana Mir, Bisama Mahroof became representations of Pakistani women empowerment, but the Islamic extremism is still a challenge in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Restrictions in a public appearance and dressing for women are important in Islam and women playing sports will lead to trials and even death threats, this affecting the talent hunt and quality of the game.

Women’s Cricket was a monopoly of England and Australia. A lack of interest from other cricketing nations has helped to gain them but the situation is changing as more professional cricketers are rising and the quality of the game increases in South Asia. More Indian players are starting to make a career in WBBL(Women’s Big Bash League) professional cricket league in Australia; as a result, the Indian team played Women’s Twenty20 World Cup final in Mar 2020 with record attendance. Boards of South Asian countries are still traditional boards that are conducting biggest cricket tournaments like IPL, PSL, and BPL; these boards didn’t make any arrangements to begin a women’s league, but it’s inspirited as market requirement as they will expect to begin in future.

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