Shikha Pandey says don’t ‘tinker with fabric of women’s game’, but market it well


India pace-bowling allrounder Shikha Pandey has turn into the most recent in an extended line of cricketers to supply views on whether or not girls’s cricket wants any tweaks – like smaller balls or shorter pitches – to assist it additional flourish and appeal to extra followers. In a collection of tweets, Pandey on Saturday mentioned “many of the solutions” to change the ladies’s sport had been “superfluous”.

“Please, do not evaluate girls’s sport, girls’s cricket on this case, with males’s sport. We have to see it as a distinct sport altogether… A sport that 86,174 spectators turned as much as watch on March 8, 2020 and a number of other million watched reside on their tv units,” she tweeted, referring to the record crowd on the remaining of the 2020 T20 World Cup between Australia and India on the MCG in March.

A mainstay of the Indian assault that completed runners-up each on the 2017 ODI World Cup and the latest T20 World Cup, Pandey wrote, “Lowering the scale of the ball is ok, however as Ian Smith instructed, it solely works if the load stays the identical. This can permit for bowlers to grip the ball higher – extra revs for the spinners – and hits may also journey additional (not be the case whether it is mild).”

As for lowering the size of the pitch from 22 yards, Pandey mentioned: “An Olympic 100m feminine sprinter would not run 80m to win First place medal and clock the identical timing as her male counterpart,” she wrote. “So the entire ‘reducing the size of the pitch’ for no matter causes appears doubtful. Additionally, it virtually positively takes the double-headers [with the men’s teams] out of query.”

As a substitute of “tinkering with guidelines or the very material of the sport to draw an viewers”, Pandey mentioned, “Progress may be achieved by advertising and marketing the game effectively.”

She additionally advocated extra expertise within the girls’s sport. “Why not have DRS, Snicko, Hotspot, all the technical acumen and reside broadcast for each sport that we play wherever on the planet.”

Potential adjustments to the ladies’s sport, comparable to utilizing a shorter pitch and a smaller ball, had been suggested by New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and India batter Jemimah Rodrigues in a latest webinar performed by the ICC. Then, in a collection of interviews by ESPNcricinfo final week, the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Rachael Haynes, Lea Tahuhu, Kate Cross and Nida Dar had also laid out their views on the debate.

“If it [the act of proposing tweaks] is about bringing it [women’s cricket] aesthetically nearer to the lads’s sport, I do not suppose that is the best option to go about it. The ladies’s sport is an efficient product that is persevering with to evolve & make its personal mark,” Haynes mentioned.

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Tahuhu identified that “when you’re having to arrange two-sized pitches, you then lose out the chance to host double-headers with males, whereas Mandhana added: “Though I really feel girls’s cricket is thrilling as it’s… lowering the size would possibly make it attention-grabbing from the viewer’s perspective.”

Cross and Dar emphasised that higher infrastructural and financial funding and extra publicity on the a part of the media is the perfect option to the take the ladies’s sport ahead. “Having the WBBL, the KSL, the Hundred or a girls’s IPL – that is the sort of change the ladies’s sport wants,” mentioned Cross, whereas Dar questioned, “How about publicising the matches rigorously on social media and mainstream media? … Give gamers extra incentive to lift the usual of the sport and issues will get extra entertaining.”



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