Home > Features >

Nicole Bolton, Sarah Taylor, Mithali Raj – Are we being equal towards our women cricketers?

While their male counterparts failed miserably, the English women's team comprehensively won the only Test in the Women's Ashes series down under this summer © Getty Images
While their male counterparts failed miserably, the English women’s team comprehensively won the only Test in the Women’s Ashes series down under this summer © Getty Images

By Sudatta Mukherjee

When Australia whitewashed England 5-0 earlier this month in the Ashes down under, the whole world broke into celebrations and discussions. The Ashes  is the most watched series. At the same time, India went to South Africa and even though India played below level, it was one of the most discussed series. It’s really funny how much we give importance to men’s cricket and ignore women cricketers at the same time.

On Thursday, Nicole Bolton became the first Australian women cricketer to score a century on debut in one-day cricket. Her knock of 124 helped the Australians post a competitive total of 266. It was not only that; she also ran out Sarah Taylor, who was proving threatening for the Australians. Bolton’s performance helped Australia stay in the race and keep their hopes of retaining the Women’s Ashes alive. Apart from a few excited loyal Ashes fans and feminists, nobody bothered to pay attention to her feat. People were busy watching the Big Bash League [BBL] instead.

In the last ten List A matches Mithali Raj has played, she has scored three centuries and was unbeaten twice. Her knock of 104 not out against Sri Lanka in the 3rd ODI at Visakhapatnam had come from 109 balls at a strike-rate of 95.41. She slammed eight fours and two sixes in her innings. She has been playing for India for the last 15 years and is one of the most famous and best women cricketers in the world. Yet a less experienced male cricketer gets much more attention than her, on any given day.

22-year-old Poonam Yadav is just two ODIs old and she has already taken seven wickets at an average of 4.00 and an economy of 1.40. Gouher Sultana is just 50 ODIs old and has registered consecutive two four-wicket hauls (her last two ODI bowling figures stand four for 15 and four for four). Her bowling average is 19.39 and yet R Vinay Kumar, Ashoke Dinda and Mohit Sharma are discussed more often than her.

India women have won their last seven ODIs and India men’s team has lost four of their last five matches. One can go on and on about the discrimination between men’s and women’s cricket. One can argue that the kind of advertisement men’s cricket receive is far greater and powerful than the women’s. But isn’t it the responsibilities of the cricket boards and International Cricket Council [ICC] to make sure women’s cricket is promoted well?

A men’s Ashes series typically consists of five Test matches. The England tour of Australia 2013-14 comprises of five Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is, which is a lot of cricket. Compared to their male counterparts, the women cricketers play a solitary Test, three ODIs and three T20s – a paltry tour that goes by the name of the Women’s Ashes. Can things be more blatantly unfair and discriminating?

Between April 2013 and February-March 2014, 15 Test series have been scheduled for men. Compared to that, there have been only two Tests – the one-off Tests in the two Ashes tours.

One can blame poor media coverage and an absence of social media to forget that Belinda Clark was the first cricketer (male or female) to score a double century in ODIs. However, what about Bolton’s feat? What about giving importance to the Women’s Ashes as much as men’s?

People are presently crying over how oligarchy will run cricket if ICC’s proposed changes come into action. However, nobody in the world has discussed how openly gender discrimination is practiced in the same sport. But then, that has been going on for millennia centuries, even before the sport was conceived.

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

Pakistan A vs Australia, Day 4: Highlights

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 Pakistan Salaam Cricket West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

BCCI not treating women’s cricket well, says WCAI secretary Nutan Gavaskar

South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014: Both teams look for psychological advantage before ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Navjot Singh Sidhu turns 51

Mitchell Marsh turns 23

Virat Kohli rises to No 2 ODI batting spot, Bhuneshwar Kumar enters Top-10 bowlers ranking

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

674 Posts | 6 Fans

Highlights from the Asian Cricket Awards at Lord's

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here