Why Are Sachin Tendulkar And Virat Kohli Not Talking About The Women’s IPL?

Despite squads announced for Women’s IPL T20 match, the gender inequality is evident in BCCI.

I am a big fan of Indian cricket and its history. I promised myself that no matter what, I will always remain loyal to the game and the country. I did. But eventually I figured that there’s something wrong with the game and the country. In a country filled with a bizarre love for the game, no one noticed the gender pay gap between the men and the women’s national cricket team. And nobody noticed the unequal treatment of BCCI towards the women of our Indian national team. Why?

Why should boys have all the fun? Image source: BCCI

This is the richest cricketing body in the world ‘BCCI’ (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the board which helps ICC (International Cricket Council) generate 70% of its annual revenue. The board has the audacity to boast about IPL (Indian Premiere League) being one of the best sporting leagues in the world, and compares itself with FIFA and E-FA (England Football Association), and the league (IPL) with EPL (English Premiere League).

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What I can’t fathom is how they compare themselves with someone who doesn’t discriminate between men and women, and pay them equally according to their job profile. People who have been conducting tournaments for women for a very long time, even long before BCCI thought about it.

If Australia can, why can’t we? Image source: abc.net.au

For instance, Australia’s Big Bash and England’s Premiere T20 league already have their own versions of women’s tournaments, despite their low TRPs, which they have been conducting since 2015. Whereas BCCI, the board which is considered the cash cow for ICC is going to conduct the only, one of its kind women’s T20 match between two teams in the year 2018. Please note the time gap of any development that takes place in India! The match will feature 26 players including 10 international stars from Australia and England. The contest will see Indian women’s T20 vice-captain Smriti Mandhana lead IPL Trailblazers to compete against IPL Supernovas, captained by Harmanpreet Kaur. The names of the players – 13 for each the two teams, was announced on Thursday by the BCCI.

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My biggest grouse? I don’t think we realise how deep the problem is. BCCI and the Indian cricket team has a certain amount of respect in people’s hearts, because when they talk, the world listens. But sadly, even they are silent. Personally, I find it heart breaking not to see our beloved cricketing stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli talking about this. I find it heart breaking because despite having a huge fan following across the globe they don’t talk about the issue.

Nothing more than the occasional photo op. Image source: BCCI

So where does that leave BCCI? To me, the board is still following the colonial-era rules written by some orthodox colonizer, just like Section 377 and 124A. Which, as all thinking people agree, should be immediately abolished.

India is a beautiful country where things take time to change. But how long, it’s been 90 years?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.

By Vishal Tiwari
Cover Photo Credit: BCCI Women