Cricket. It’s a sport that needs no introduction. Iconic stadiums packed with passionate fans cheering for their favourite team… the entire atmosphere is filled with energy.
When we said “favourite team”, you most definitely pictured men. That’s just how the sports sector is and has been for a long time. But it is about to change. It’s not only about the guys, women are here too. In fact, have always been; they just never got the recognition they deserve.
Women and sports, especially cricket, go a long way back. The early years of women’s cricket can be traced back all the way to 26 July 1745 in England, which was when the first recorded match was played. In 1887, the first women’s cricket club was formed at Nun Appleton in Yorkshire, named the White Heather Club. After a successful start, the game started spreading to Australia. Lily Poulett-Harris was the path breaker for women’s cricket in Australia as she founded and captained the first women’s cricket team there. Steadily, the sport was becoming well-established and started going beyond Australian borders.
Apart from England and Australia, cricket was now being played regularly in countries such as New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa. In 1958, the International Women’s Cricket Council was established to coordinate women’s cricket. Today, a variety of competitions are held in women’s cricket; from ODIs and Tests to the World Cup. The first Women’s World Cup was held in England in 1973, with the latest being in 2017. Other than that, ODIs are regularly taking place, along with Test matches. Currently, Australia Women’s Tour of Caribbean 2019 is going on where the Australia Women will be taking on West Indies Women.
Women’s cricket is taking the world by storm. From its small beginnings in the 17-18th century to international tournaments in which various countries are actively participating in, women’s cricket has come a long way from where it had started. Except now, there’s only thing left to do.
We need to stop calling it ‘women’s cricket’.
We, as a society, should stop referring to anything that women do as ‘women’s’ this or ‘women’s’ that. Women aren’t playing a sport just because of their gender. They’re doing it because they want to. Cricket, or any other sport for that matter, is played for the game. It’s played for the passion and the love. It’s played for that feeling of utter euphoria you know so well.
Women have always been neglected in sports and there are still a lot of things to overcome such as gender bias, unequal pay, less opportunities etc. Although we’ve come far, the disparity still exists and it is our duty to ensure that starting today, all disparity, discrimination and bias is removed, not only from the sports industry but from society as a whole.