VVS Laxman feels women's cricket has achieved great heights already through their recent success © AFP and Getty Images
VVS Laxman feels women’s cricket has achieved great heights already through their recent success © AFP and Getty Images

The year 2016 has been topsy-turvy for India Women. It began with a historic T20I series victory against Australia in Australia, followed by an ordinary ICC Women T20 World Cup campaign and finally lifting the Asia Cup T20 for the sixth time. However, it was India’s Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana who shone in their first stint of Women Big Bash League (WBBL). In addition, Harmanpreet was appointed captain of the shortest format. To make matter more demanding for women’s cricket, there are also live telecast available across the country for crucial matches, which is gradually scaling up its popularity. Former Indian cricketer and CricketCountry.com mentor VVS Laxman spoke to our website on the success of women cricket in the recent times.

When asked about how women cricket can be marketed, he responded, “BCCI has to be complimented and since the time BCCI have been taken over by them and have got women’s cricket in their fold, I think they are getting a lot more opportunity.” VVS Laxman: Virat Kohli template for mix of defensive skills and aggression

Laxman also recalled his live experience of the Eves winning the T20I series against Australia Down Under, “It is remarkable how they are performing, and I was so proud when they beat Australia in Australia. That was the first time I watched them live and I was very impressed.”

Mithali Raj and her side’s success

Mithali has been the top-scorer for the side every series. After 7-month break post Women T20 World Cup 2016, the Eves came out stronger under Mithali’s captaincy. They defeated West Indies Women 3-0 in limited-over cricket. They finished as close to the top four of the Championship table. Harmanpreet and Smriti achieved accolades in WBBL. However, Smriti was injured recently and had to return back midway of the tournament. Laxman heaped praise on Mithali and India Women’s success rate, “There are many talented players in the women team, starting with Mithali Raj. They recently beat West Indies in the 50-over format and also they won the Asia Cup, so everything is going right for them.”

Laxman’s take on visibility factor for India Women

Laxman stressed that women’s cricket is recognisable across country in comparison to the earlier days.

“In Hyderabad, a lot of cricket academies are having young girls, who want to take cricket as a profession or want to play the game, which shows that women’s team has a huge impact on the young girls.” Laxman advised on what are the further steps that can be taken to popularise women cricket, “Like what Australia has done with WBBL, where some of our women players are playing, so that is something that can be thought of. A T20 league for women also should be introduced, where they can invite the overseas players like an IPL format.” VVS Laxman: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant have very bright future

“During the IPL time itself, if the men’s matches are beginning at 7 o’clock, there can be women match before that. This is how the sport can become more visible and popular. It can work wonders to give more visibility to the women players. They have done remarkably well in the opportunity they got and I am really proud of them,” concluded Laxman.