Women’s Cricket: Preparing for Future?
Biratnagar seems to be stamping its authority on youth cricket. That is what looks like, with the region’s title win at the Women’s U-19 National Cricket Championship, following the boys’ win at similar championship a few months earlier.
It appears as if things are on the right track for the region that has given as many as 7 players in the men’s national squad (among 14) in 2002. The region that has won 4 back to back national championships seems to be back to producing quality cricketers again.
There were some bright spots during the tournament, and they belong to the winning team. Kajol Shrestha, known to her teammates as ‘Pollard’ – with reference to big hitting batsman from West Indies Keiron Pollard – was the biggest find of the tournament. She became the only player at this level to score two fifties, that too in a single tournament, and showed the poise of a player that can be groomed for bigger things. Rubina Chhetri, who happens to be the only player from the region in the national team (both men and women combined) as of now, also showed that she was more matured than being a mere player and captain of Nepal. Despite being the manager of the winning side, she showed that she has the makings of a good coach, who can groom a young side.
All well and good… But that’s what appears on the surface. A deeper look and you might be worried, at least for the women cricketers. For once again, the women cricketers have reasons to say that they have been victims of gender inequality.
The U-19 national championship for women, played in 25-over-a-side format, was a regional tournament, where teams should have been selected on the basis on competition at the regional level. That’s fair enough, as any national tournament should be rated as the highest level for that age group and should be competitive enough. But there was no regional tournament played to select the regional teams.
The team that won the title consisted of players almost entirely from Jhapa (Milan Cricket Club of Kakarbhitta), despite the region covering districts like Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Udaypur and Ilam. This might speak very highly of Milan Cricket Club, for having quality cricketers, but not for the region. Two players from Saptari made it to the squad, but did not get a chance to play in the tournament, for not being ‘good enough’.
Apparently, the districts apart from Saptari and Jhapa did not even participate in selection. Now, the question is, who should be held responsible for this? The cricket officials say that the selection round did not happen due to lack of players. That invites another question, is the cricket board only responsible to organize tournaments, in whatever way possible? Who should be held accountable for producing – or for failure to do so – of young cricketers in the region. And if the regional body is not functioning well, is the central body ready to or has enough will to take action?
We have to take a few other things into consideration. Ray Jennings, the coach of South African team for U-19 World Cup, had said just before the tournament, “We are here not to win the world cup, but to prepare a team for the future.” On that account, Women’s U-19 National Cricket Championship has failed.
There have been 3 editions of ACC U-19 Women’s championships. Nepal is undefeated in any of them. In ACC Women’s championship, Nepal finished as runners-up in the first edition in 2007. But following that, the team has failed to cross the semi-finals. Nepali girls say Bhutan has been putting up strong challenge against us.
Yet, Cricket Association of Nepal chose to have U-19 Women’s nationals in 25-over-a-side format, just because the ACC tournament will be held in similar format. There’s a clear message in this, we are just preparing to play in a tournament, not prepare a team for the future. If we did, the tournament would have been played in longer format, so that we could groom players. Was it because they were women?
In the week when women’s rights activists were busy parleying for 33 percent representation in Constituent Assembly – saying it would empower them – some cricketers were being marginalized in the capital. If only those demanding political representation had time to think empowerment can come through non-political tools as well.
Ed: This write-up appeared in The Kathmandu Post on 1st June, 2013
ACC U-19 Trophy18th Dec 2016After more than convincing performance against Sri Lanka, Nepal U19 was clear favorite to beat Malaysia in the last league match of the U19 Asia Cup, but it turned out to be a nail-biting finish. Chasing Malaysia’s 153, Nepal went down to 107 for 8 in 28th over before Pawan Sarraf and Anil Shah played […]
21st Jan 2014
24th May 2016अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय क्रिकेट परिषद् (आईसीसी) का प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत डेविड रिचर्डसनले निर्वाचित नेपाल क्रिकेट संघका अध्यक्ष चतुरबहादुर चन्दलाई आइतबार पत्र पठाउँदै निलम्बनको कारण मंसिरको अन्तिममा भएको क्यानको विवादित साधारणसभा र पदाधिकारीहरूको निर्वाचनपछि क्यान तथा नेपाली क्रिकेटको प्रशासन नियन्त्रणमा लिन राष्ट्रिय खेलकुद परिषद् (राखेप) ले तदर्थ समिति गठन गरेको बताएको छ । विवादित साधारणसभाका कारण नै तदर्थ समिति गठन […]...
- क्रिकेटमा जिम्मेवार र उत्तरदायी अधिकारी आउनुपर्छ: पारस खड्का (अजय फुयाल, नागरिक)
- क्यान अाइसीसीको निलम्बनमा पर्नुमा राखेप प्रमुख दोषी ! (माधव धिताल, सेतोपाटी)
- नेपाल क्रिकेट संघ निलम्बनः घाटा-नाफाको हिसाबकिताब (राजकुमार श्रेष्ठ, अनलाइनखवर)
- क्यान र राखेपबीच जुहारी, आइसीसीले गरेको कारबाहीको दोष एकअर्कामाथि (विनोद पाण्डे, कान्तिपुर)
- क्रिकेट : सम्भावना र दुर्भाग्य (उज्ज्वल आचार्य, नागरिक)