Among various sectors affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, women sports has perhaps taken the worst hit across the world, and women’s cricket is no exception.
From a whopping 86,000 spectators witnessing the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Melbourne to an abrupt halt of cricketing activity for an indefinite period, women’s cricket has come a long way.
While men’s cricket has already resumed with England and West Indies battling each other for three-match series, there are no plausible signs of resumption of women’s cricket.
The legendary Indian skipper Mithali Raj feels that the coronavirus crisis has retreated the growth of women’s cricket by at least two years.
“Unfortunately, women’s cricket may have been set back by a couple of years by this pandemic as some of the momentum that had been built between India’s success in World Cup 2017 and World T20 2020 has been lost,” Raj said on a webinar organised by FICCI Frames.
The 37-year old further added that a constant discussion with BCCI is going on with regards to a guaranteed calendar for women’s cricket.
“However, we have had discussions with BCCI to draw up a firm calendar for the Indian women’s team so that fans can regularly cheer for the team.”
“The plans have obviously been disrupted but we believe we can rebuild quickly. I think a full-fledged Women’s IPL is still 2-3 years away but we would certainly look to have a fourth team in the Women’s Challenge that is played concurrently with the IPL,” said Mithali.
Mithali, one of the greatest batsman of an era, is the highest run-scorer in the women’s international cricket. She led the Indian team to finals of ICC Cricket World Cup on two occasions – in 2005 and 2011.