Former India captain Rahul Dravid believes that women's cricket still has a "long way to go" but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is doing a great job by hosting the World Cup for them.
"Women's cricket still has a long way to go. The BCCI is doing its bit and encouraging women's cricket in all states.
It's a challenge, not easy to bring more girls in cricket. But the development is in process and Indian cricket fraternity is encouraging girls to take cricket," said Dravid after the launch of the book on late former India captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday.
"India is hosting the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, which is a proud moment for us and it is getting good attention. Competition at all levels in women's cricket has improved a lot and we have a very good team and legendary players," added Dravid.
The book launch was followed by a session presented by Rajasthan Royals Corner of a Distant Playing Field in which Dravid was joined by Ian Buruma, a Dutch writer and academician, and moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai, son of late former Indian cricketer Dilip Sardesai and Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN news channel.
The 40-year-old Dravid, one of India's finest batsmen who scored close to 25,000 international runs before announcing his retirement early last year, was happy to see the cricket reaching the smaller cities of the country.
"It's very good to see cricket reaching all parts of the country and players such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Praveen Kumar coming from these smaller cities. The BCCI is making efforts to take cricket in all corners of the country and improving the infrastructure.
"Good facilities are also accessible to smaller towns now and local coaching centres are providing the best facilities, which are helping cricketers to sharpen their skills at an early age," he said.
"The barrier between metropolitan and small-town cricketers has broken now as young cricketers are playing more inter-city and inter-district matches. They are visiting other states for tournaments and getting better exposure," he added.
First Published: January 26, 2013, 10:48 pm