Cricket is the most popular sport in India. When M S Dhoni loses or wins a match, it makes a front page headline. Every missed or scored ton by Sachin Tendulkar makes a sizzling story for cricket fans. Every clash with Pakistan is made to look like a clash of the century. And every victory evokes loud celebrations across the country. However, this popularity is restricted to men’s cricket. Women’s cricket is far from evoking any emotions – even if it’s nothing less than a World Cup and that too being played on the home ground.
Indian women cricketers may not be getting the same support that their male counterparts enjoy, however they are all set to kick off Women’s World Cup 2013 event today. India team will be clashing with West Indies in Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. Other teams in the tournament include Australia, Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and New Zealand.
The Indian women’s cricket team is being led by Mithali Raj, world number 1 batswoman. The team also includes former captain Jhulan Goswami whose experience will count tremendously. Other key players on the Indian side include Amita Sharma, Harmanpreet, Gouhar Sultana, Nirannjana Nagarajan, and Sulakshana Naik (wicket-keeper). The team also includes former captain Jhulan Goswami.
Indian team is in Group A that includes West Indies, England, and Sri Lanka, while Group B features
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan.
The favorites continue to be Australian team that has won the World Cup five times. England team who won the last world cup will be doing everything to retain the title.
The big question is whether the event will draw viewers, for a change? Will sports fans, in India and other participating countries, support women’s cricket?
It’s not just in India but elsewhere too, women’s cricket is not as popular. And what would be a better opportunity than a World Cup to promote the game and the players?
While men cricketers are larger than life icons, dominating all print, TV, and air space, women cricketers are like alien personalities who may be brilliant but no one knows or cares to know them. They don’t feature in any endorsements. You don’t see them offering a product or service, through billboards on the roadsides. You won’t find them on the ramps or in fun events with other celebrities. They are the true sports personalities who are focused on their game. They are the ones who need everyone’s support – let’s not keep it all for their male counterparts. Let’s know women cricketers, watch them play, and celebrate with them in their victories.
With or without the crowds, a cricketing fight is about to begin for the World Cup 2013. And there is nothing gentlemanly about it.