No longer Only The Gentle(man)’s Game: Watch How Women’s Cricket Could Transform It

Posted: August 1, 2017

Women’s Cricket brings no fame or fortune with it – as yet. Could this actually be the purest version of game, played for the game’s own sake?

Cricket has ceased to be a Gentleman’s Game for quite a while now. I’m wondering if they should coin a new tag line after Harmanpreet’s performance, maybe call it ‘Cricket – the passionate woman’s game’? Let’s face it, the boys are rolling in money, glamour and superstardom while the girls get chiller-money (comparatively), zero glamour and slim pickings at stardom. Which is why it amazes me when I see women playing cricket and I’m left wondering – why do they play and what do they play for?

The only plausible answer would be love for the game and the passion to excel in it. In today’s time that’s just being plain insane, isn’t it?

Before I wax eloquent on women’s cricket, let me admit to my double standards – I have never watched women’s cricket and were it not for Harmanpreet’s exemplary knock I would have continued to ignore it. But that’s exactly what got me thinking: what drives people like her to pick a game where a billion people will tune in to see the men play and maybe a thousand will turn up to watch you?

I used to be a cricket-lover some eons ago but the match fixing scandal broke my young heart and I swore never to get emotionally invested in the game though I have not been entirely successful. Still, it is always with a cynical eye that I watch matches now unlike the frenzied excitement I would work up during the good old days. I’m hoping women’s cricket will change that.

“Love what you do and if it fulfills you the rest will not matter” seems to ring true for these gifted women. They fight considerable odds to play the game even though the chances of finding fame and fortune at the end of the long, dusty and forgotten road is rather bleak. Passion for the game probably trumps everything and one can only imagine them watching the near-God status their counterparts in men’s cricket get with much amusement.

Are Harmanpreet’s cover drives any less skilled, can she not hammer out sixes with the same frequency as the men? The answer is obviously no but unfortunately, sweaty, fully clothed women somehow get second billing.

Indians watch cricket with hope, disgust, and awe and sometimes for pure entertainment. The relationship with the game is still very much on but there is always this nagging suspicion that we are being manipulated and our emotions are being sold to the highest bidder. Women’s cricket can hopefully reverse this and not fall prey to the demons that plague the popular version.

Here’s raising a toast to these talented and passionate women who have taken over the Gentle(man)’s Game and have showered it with the purest of loves i.e. “Play the game for the game’s own sake.”

Top image via Youtube

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Roopa Prabhakar describes herself as a mother, a working woman, a closet feminist and blogger.

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