On the auspicious day of Diwali, the Indian Forum on British Media held an event with an aim of raising the profile of Indian Women’s Cricket….reports Asian Lite News
The event was held in a packed Committee room of the British Parliament, hosted by Mr. Virendra Sharma, M.P. from Ealing, Southall, who kicked off the event, inviting the audience to the august Parliament premises. He was full of praise for the performance of the Indian team, in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord’s, where though India lost the Cup, it won the hearts of the people.
Prabhakar Kaza, the President of the Forum explained the objectives of the forum which serves as a watchdog on presentation of Indian events in the British press and TV. The purpose in holding the event was to mobilise spectator support for Indian Women’s cricket so that matches can be held at bigger stadiums at major cities. To stay abreast of the developments, he requested everyone to become a member of Indian Women Cricket Team Fans Facebook page, which currently has 75,000 members.
Mihir Bose, the veteran all-round sports commentator and author of thirty books, regaled the audience with wealth of data, picked up from his vast experience. His interaction with the team has convinced him that with the prodigious talent that it has, the future is bright and the TV/press/internet coverage globally has played a major role in increasing awareness and visibility of the game. He praised the role of Captain Mithali Raj who has now become even a quiz question. Admittedly the well-knit Women’s team has cut across economic class, geographical divide and other social divisions.
Isabelle Duncan, MCC Committee member and author of the book – History of Women’s Cricket mentioned that the history of women’s game is as rich as men’s. She made a fervent plea to BCCI, the richest Cricket board, to pay better salaries to Women, contract more players and hold more matches both domestically and internationally in all the formats, which would jump-start the scope of the game.
Prashant Kidambi, Associate Professor, University of Leicester, covered the past achievements, making a special mention of the Parsees for their contribution and brought out several nuances in the women’s game which indicate enormous potential. He emphasised that the systemic issues and BCCI gender bias of the past should be sorted out quickly, to accelerate the growth of women’s cricket.
Kamal Prabhakar, veteran Cricketer, actor and model, congratulated the Indian team for their performance in Lord’s finals and expanded on his role in making Cricket for girls an interesting experience in UK. He emphasised that Cricket is not just about Seamers and Sixes but also fielding, fitness, right equipment, motivation, stress management and strategy.
The Q and A was robust with a flurry of questions on facilities available for girl’s cricket in India. The audience was emphatic that India should have a women’s IPL and that the women players with increasing stamina and strength, should play on equal terms with men to prove their worth. Anchor, Bharati Desiraju, thanked the UK Parliament, the knowledgeable speakers and the animated audience who turned up in large numbers forgoing Diwali celebrations, demonstrating their commitment and to convey their good wishes for the future of the Indian Women’s Team. The event ended with an universal acknowledgment that the ultimate legacy of Lord’s finals was when a girl in an Indian house asks for permission to play cricket, the parents will not say No.