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The BCCI has announced a cash reward of Rs. 50 Lakh for each member of the women's team for their performances in the Women's World Cup 2017.
Acting president CK Khanna told ANI, "BCCI will give reward to Women’s Cricket Team on their tremendous performance in World Cup. Match by match Indian team is performing so well now, we are proud of them particularly the knock played by Harmanpreet Kaur."
India have made the final of the quadrennial tournament after having defeated Australia in the semi-final in Derby by 36 runs riding on Kaur's match-defining 171*.
In case you didn't know...
In what has been a watershed moment for women's cricket in India, the Indian side, led by Mithali Raj defeated New Zealand and Australia, two of the stronger sides in the league, in knockout games to make their second appearance in a World Cup final.
In 2005, India, also led by Raj, had made final of the World Cup in South Africa but had lost to Australia by 98 runs.
The support staff would also be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh each. The final, scheduled for Sunday at Lord's has been sold out, and approximately 27,000 are expected to attend the match.
Raj, during the course of the tournament, also became the highest run-scorer in women's ODI cricket and also the first cricketer to score more than 6000 runs.
Kaur registered the highest score by an Indian in a World Cup game and the second highest individual score overall amongst Indian women cricketers.
Such incentives and appraisals are appreciated, especially when they come from the BCCI, which until 2006 hadn't recognized women's cricket.
Now that they have, much attention needs to be paid to other aspects of women's cricket that need attention.
Rewards at the time of ICC tournaments and success aren't going to be enough to lift the state of women's cricket in the country. Rather, attention needs to be paid to the grassroots and base of female cricketers in India needs to be widened.
Inter-school cricket, university-level cricket, and cricket at the club and domestic levels needs to be pushed and nurtured so that more women could consider cricket as a career option.
Retaining women is also as much an issue as inviting them to play cricket is, considering the sociopolitical conditions that prevail in the country. Hence, the central contracts that were put in place by the BCCI in 2015 was a step in the right direction.
The same needs to be done at the domestic level as well.Published 22 Jul 2017, 16:55 IST