Patriarchy Bowled

The word ‘Cricket’ creates restlessness in the minds of Indian youth. The fever of watching cricket to being a National and International cricketer player can be seen in every nook and corner of the nation. Not only is the youth crazy about cricket but also the elderly who have same enthusiasm of watching.Cricket became one of the components in bringing about a revolution in late 80s. It caught the attention of the larger part of the country when the Indian team won its first World Cup. Cricketers finally started getting much needed recognition from the common people. The respect has increased so much now that cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar are not only considered to be a celebrity but is even worshipped.

This was all about the men’s cricket team, but what about women’s cricket team? The first International Women Cricket team came into existence in the late 1970s. The team played its first One Day International against West Indies in the year 1976. The women’s cricket team got the chance of playing the World cup again after a lapse of almost three decades i.e. 2005.

With the passage of time the nation is developing to the extent that women are encouraged to be part of sports. One such woman has made the nation proud on Wednesday i.e. 7thFebruary, 2018. This woman is none other than Jhulan Goswami. She started playing cricket at the age of 15 after inspired by Aussie Belinda Clark’s victory lap in the 1992 Cricket World Cup on TV. All the hindrances in her journey and lack of familial support could not stop her from being the renowned cricket player she has become. She is an all-rounder and a record breaker, who has nowbecome the first woman cricketer to take 200 wickets in ODI. She stated that she cannot select one favourite moment from her wicket-taking journey as she remembers each and every wicket that she has taken.

Women today are beating the odds in every field. Be it sports, be it the tech world, be it the defence forces. Before we sit back though to take pride in their glory, shouldn’t we reflect on why there still are odds to beat? What are we doing to make sure our girls have the support they need to break that glass ceiling?

Centre for Social Research (CSR) has been working towards empowering girls and women in India with its first initiatives in Haryana, known now as the land of the Phogat sisters and simultaneously infamous for one of the lowest sex ratios in the country. Dr. Manasi Mishra, Head of Research and Knowledge Development, CSR applauded the achievement of Jhulan Goswami. “Women are making strides in sports today and that needs to be acknowledged and applauded in a big manner”, she says. CSR’s focus has been on providing young girls with the right platforms and recognition to ensure they are appreciated and become their own little role models inspiring communities to encourage more girls in sports. The next Women World Cup is going to be held in the year 2021 in New Zealand. Our girls are ready, are we?