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)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Barbados Tridents win by 6 wickets

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Tridents have their maiden win in CLT20 0214

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: After decent start by Tridents, Knights make comeback with late wickets

Bangladesh Cricket Board: Nadir Shah ban still on

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights set target of 138 (D/L) in 19 overs

PCB unhappy with bouncy tracks at Dubai for Australia series

Highest score by a batsman when all the other batsmen got single digit scores in a T20 match

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiled

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Tridents have their maiden win in CLT20 0214

Highest score by a batsman when all the other batsmen got single digit scores in a T20 match

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Payback time for Deepshikha Nagpal’s team with reverse Hijack, RJ Preetam’s team blames him for their defeat

NGOs pursue education for all

Pankaj Kapur saw son Shahid Kapoor’s Haider and said “It’s Okay”

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 Day 9 recap: Gautam Gulati faces punishment for his antics

Sex after pregnancy — how to get her in the mood

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here