Women's Cricket: A Different Ball Game
Rachael Flint, Debbie Hockley and Cathryn Fitzpatrick – which sport do they play? Most cricket fans would struggle to answer the question.
The question is bounced not to belittle those three women cricketers. It is just in the context of popularity of the game played by the women, some 20-30 years back.
In sharp contrast Ellyse Perry, Stefanie Taylor, Meghan Lanning and Smriti Mandhana are flashed in smart phone and seen in commercials. This speaks volume of their popularity. Both ICC and the respective boards of the countries now perceive women’s cricket as a viable medium to earn revenue. The Television companies too are game for the perception.
Under such a burgeoning scenario women in all the cricket playing nations are looking at the game as a profession. In India the Board of Control for Cricket in India has changed the landscape of women’s cricket. From money to mileage, from playing fields to facility, there is a complete upheaval in India.
Sukanya Parida a girl who hails from a small village in Odissa, an eastern coastal state of India is an epitome of the metamorphosis. At an early age she shifted to Kolkata and learnt her trade at a very modest cricket academy. She made her inroads in the Bengal state team during the time the BCCI took over the reins of women’s cricket. Things completely changed for her. She was exposed to the same indoor practice facility that a former India captain Sourav Ganguly enjoyed.
Armed with all the modern support system Sukanya broke into the senior India cricket team in 2016 and made his debut against West Indies. She is not a regular member in the Indian team. But coming from such a humble background she has a good job in the Indian Railways and a decent living. Rubbing shoulders with the seniors and meeting people at different destinations have driven her shyness away and drilled some communication skill in her. She preserves her pictures and videos in the laptop and takes pride in showing it.
Sukanya represents many such cricketers – from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who have transformed their life coming from extremely humble background. That’s the beauty of the sports in the sub continent.