Gautam Gambhir has urged Indian girls to take cricket as seriously as "men take it". The former Indian opener cited the performances of the current national women's cricket team as a potential source of inspiration.
The Indian women's cricket team has qualified for the knockout round of two major ICC tournaments in the last couple of years. After making it to final of the ODI World Cup 2017, they made it to the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2019 as well.
"If girls take up any sport, it is a big step towards our vision of making a sporting country. I would want girls to take cricket as seriously as men take it. If you look at the current women’s team, they have played World Cup semi-finals and before that, they have been runner up of the World Cup. It is a very good sign for the country." Gambhir was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Talking about cricket in general, Gambhir said cricket has become more of a physical sport than a technical sport in recent times because of the growing popularity of T20s.
Gambhir recalled the phase when he got into the game first up and said that the cricketers didn’t necessarily need to have too much of physical strength to excel in cricket at that time, as T20 cricket wasn’t around.
Test cricket and ODI cricket were the two formats of the game and both needed high standards of skills, rather than physical fitness. However, things have changed now and in the age of T20 cricket, physical fitness is as important as skills.
"When I started playing cricket, there was no T20 cricket. It was not a physical sport but was a technical one. But if now you are not physically fit, I do not think you can do well in any form.” Gambhir added.