BCCI is a very male chauvinist organisation, says former Indian women's team captain Diana Edulji
What's the story?
Former skipper of India Women's team, Diana Edulji boldly stated that the recent success of Mithali Raj's team in the ICC Women's World Cup was not accepted very well by some of the members of the "male chauvinist" Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
Opening up about her valiant stance against the BCCI, Edulji said, "I’ve always been a BCCI basher, right from the day women’s cricket came into the BCCI fold in 2006. BCCI is a very male chauvinist organisation. They never wanted women to dictate terms or get into this thing. I was very vocal right from my playing days, from when I started.
“Even now, I would still say that it is not yet well accepted within BCCI that women’s cricket is doing well. It is very difficult for them (some BCCI members) to accept the fact that this team has done very well,” she added.
She also recalled her bitter experience with N Srinivasan (former BCCI president). She shared her story saying, “When Mr. Srinivasan became president, I would like to say that I went to congratulate him at the Wankhede Stadium. He said, ‘If I had my way, I wouldn’t let women’s cricket happen’. He hates women’s cricket.”
In case you didn't know...
Edulji was handed India women's captaincy in 1978. Currently, she is a member of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators(CoA).
This is not the first time that she blasted a cricket organisation for male supremacy. In 1986, she referred to Marylebone Cricket Club as "Male Chauvanist Pigs" and said that they should change their name from "MCC to MCP" after they denied her an entrance to the Lord's Pavilion.
India's World Cup heroes, Harmanpreet Kaur and Punam Raut accompanied Eduji in the condemning of the approach toward Women's Cricket in India. Raut stated that parents of young girls stop them from playing because they fear their little girls will "turn dark after getting tanned" or "no one will marry a female cricketer".
Kaur also recalled her initial struggle in the game when she was not allowed to play with other boys despite being better than most of them. She said that she had a hard time bringing a group of girls together in order to play.
While talking about the possibilities of hosting an Indian Premier League for women, both Kaur and Raut agreed that it is the right time to welcome the tournament. However, Edulji thinks that it is still too early to commence this tournament.
The statements made by Edulji, Kaur and Raut are bound to invite a controversy. It is expected that BCCI will soon respond to these statements.
It is disheartening to see young girls being stopped from following their passion beneath the veils of patriarchy. Time and again, ferocious young women followed their passion and went on to become legends in Cricket. However, they somehow failed to convince the society that girls are capable of achieving untouched milestones.
There is no denying that Mithali Raj and her team turned the tides for women cricketers when they fought their way to the finals of the World Cup. However, women's cricket in India still has a long way to go.