Diana Edulji: N. Srinivasan hates women's cricket

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Diana Edulji: N. Srinivasan hates women's cricket

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SportsCafe Desk

08/24/2017

Former Indian women’s team skipper Diana Edulji has revealed that ex-BCCI president N.Srinivasan once told her that if it were up to him, he wouldn’t let women’s cricket happen. The 61-year-old also branded the BCCI as a male chauvinist organization for their attitude towards women’s cricket.

2017 has been a watershed moment for Indian Women’s cricket with the team making the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales. However, former Indian women’s team skipper Diana Edulji has made some stunning revelations about the BCCI’s attitude towards women’s cricket as she claimed that the recent success of the team hasn’t been “accepted too well” by some BCCI members.  

“I’ve always been a BCCI basher, right from the day women’s cricket came into the BCCI fold in 2006. BCCI is a very male chauvinist organization. They never wanted women to dictate terms or get into this thing. I was very vocal right from my playing days, from when I started,” she said. “Even now, I would still say that it is not yet well accepted within BCCI that women’s cricket is doing well. It is very difficult for them (some BCCI members) to accept the fact that this team has done very well,” Indian Express reported Edulji as saying.

Further, to support her argument, the member of the CoA recalled her first meeting with former BCCI president N Srinivasan after he took over the reins in 2011, she said, “When Mr Srinivasan became president, I would like to say that I went to congratulate him at the Wankhede Stadium. He said, ‘If I had my way, I wouldn’t let women’s cricket happen’. He hates women’s cricket.”

Edulji was supported by two of the biggest stars of India’s world cup campaign in the form of Punam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur and while the duo acknowledged the fact that the popularity of women’s cricket in the country has gone up considerably since the World Cup, Raut also recalled some of the flak she faced when she decided to take up cricket professionally.

“There’s so much passion for cricket within us that we don’t ever think about getting tanned or that hum kaale ho jaayenge. There were many people in our society and some of my mother’s friends who would keep saying, ‘Isse ladki ki tarahthodarehnekeliyesikhao. Ladki kekaamsikhao’ .They used to ask my mother to teach me to dress up like a girl. My mother would then scold me. I would complain to my father and then they would end up arguing,” she said.

Raut further added, There are many parents who still think along those lines… You’ll get dark if you stay under the sun for six hours. Who’ll get married to you? I’ve seen today’s parents only encourage their daughters to study and say that you’ll have to get married at a fixed age and get settled. I believe if any girl likes playing, or if sport is her passion, then they should be allowed to play and be supported too.”

On the other hand, Kaur who became a household name when she smashed a match-winning 171 against Australia in the semi final, also revealed some of her past struggles whle growing up in Punjab saying, “When I was young I would have to beg the girls to play with me so that we could form a team of 11 players. Eventually, I would have to gather girls who were good at other sports. Cricket has become their No.1 priority now. When I started, there wasn’t a single academy in Moga. My coach started one just for me. Now, there are three exclusively for women,” she revealed.

India’s success in the recently concluded World Cup has also raised hopes of a Women's IPL in the future and the trio was asked about this possibility; while Edulji felt it was too early for it, both Raut and Kaur hoped the opportunity arrived as soon as possible.  “I feel like even after all that’s happened, there are a lot of changes that still need to be made for women’s cricket. I hope we don’t end up saying many years later that ‘we also used to hit sixes during our time’. So, I feel if IPL starts now, then it’s great,” said Kaur. 

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