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Women's cricket in India: The quest for TRPs and the revolution it needs

Why is women's cricket disregarded in India?

SENIOR ANALYST
Feature 11 Feb 2018, 23:26 IST
164

England v India - ICC Women's World Cup 2017
Mithali Raj during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017

Women's cricket gained a bit of popularity in the previous year during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 in England. The Indian women's side garnered a lot of attention throughout the tournament by making it to the final of the tournament. From Harmanpreet Kaur's wonderful innings to Jhulan Goswami's stellar bowling, everything was cheered with the same passion and excitement.

Big screens were set up for the first time during a women's game, the crowd gathered in numbers to support their side. The Indian women's team ended up losing the final but they won millions of hearts and that, in my opinion, should have been enough to bring women cricket into the limelight. The women in blue made the news and stayed in it only to lose the momentum with the next men's series. Women's cricket has been disregarded again since then.

I've heard a few people complaining about how the broadcasters are not too keen on telecasting women's matches. "They are showing ice cricket on television but not women's cricket, why is it so", quoted by a fan.

There is a game that is played off the field, the game where one has to manage the television rating point, more commonly known as TRP. The broadcasters need sponsors to run their programs and sponsors are attracted because of TRPs.

The question arises that why are the TRPs low in women's matches? The answer to this question might be a lot simpler than it seems. The women fail to hit the ball as hard as the men can hit and we are willing to watch only T20 cricket because we need to see the big shots. This is the harsh reality of the game. People are more interested in watching players smashing every ball rather than a good day of test cricket or women's cricket.

I've seen a lot of women play with the same passion as the men. Cricket Australia (CA) acknowledged the fact and started a revolution in form of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) where the Australian women were provided with a platform to showcase their talent in front of a large audience.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is currently working on improving the stature women's cricket in India but a separate IPL still seems like a "far-fetched idea". The revolution women's cricket needs should start from the viewers. The viewers should take the initiative to watch them play with the same excitement as the men.

The fans are becoming familiar with the faces and names in women's cricket and this is brilliant for the betterment of the game. Women's Cricket will only become popular when the viewers start taking interest in it.

The sponsors will only invest when they see the TRPs hitting the higher side. Success is only attained when the effort is wholehearted. Other cricketing nations have admired the fact that women's cricket is as important as men's cricket. BCCI and India will realize it sooner or later and give the women's same support as men. They are making progress, albeit rather slowly.

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