In what could be a major milestone for women’s cricket, and women’s sports in India, former India Women captain Diana Edulji has said that creation of a players’ association will empower women cricketers in the country. Edulji is a part of the four-member committee, headed by former union home secretary GK Pillai, that has been given the task of setting up a players’ association.
The creation of the association was one of several recommendations of the Lodha committee that was approved by the Supreme Court in a watershed verdict. Edulji felt a women’s representative of the players’ association in the Apex Council, which will replace the working committee, would ensure greater accountability. “People will be more answerable. That will also help because we need somebody to listen to us,” she said. “Women’s cricket needs a little push and I think this is the right time for it.” Edulji said that now there was a more positive attitude towards women’s cricket with initiatives, like the introduction of central contracts for players.
At Centre for Social Research, we have always been big supporters of women’s sports. We had earlier reported about how India didn’t have central contracts for its women’s cricket team (which has been introduced now), and also how the women’s team was totally neglected by media during ICC T20 World Cup held in March this year. We believe that encouraging women in sports is a very significant way of empowering them. Recently, Nike’s ‘Da Da Ding” advertisement, featuring 12 sportswomen and Deepika Padukone also reaffirmed the importance of sports, in the process of women emancipation.
India still lags far behind in terms of successful sportswomen, and associations like this one are very much required to rectify this issue. It will also encourage more women to enter sports in professional capacities. We would also like to request leading sports platforms such as ESPNCricInfo, to add a separate section for women’s cricket, so as to grab the attention of sports fans. Such small actions will go a long way in enhancing the quality of women’s sports in India.
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