Don’t Think Women’s Cricket Can Continue to Be Inactive: Bishop

Ian Bishop talks about the need for cricket associations to focus on women’s cricket as much as men’s.

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Cricket
2 min read

“I don’t know that the women’s game can continue to be as inactive as has happened,” says Ian Bishop during an interaction with the media following the launch of Beyond the Boundary, ICC’s Netflix documentary on the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

While the discussion started with the highs of the T20 World Cup final – that Australia won in front of a record audience at the MCG – it soon moved towards the current status of women’s cricket, with no international series being planned post the COVID-19 lockdowns. While England hosted the restart of international cricket, playing a three-test series against West Indies starting 8 July, they are now in the middle of a Test series against Pakistan while the West Indies Cricket Board is now hosting the Caribbean Premier League that started on 18 August. Indian cricket’s first tournament is set to be the Indian Premier League, from 19 September.

But there has been no move made by any cricket board for a series involving their women’s cricket team.

“I hope that administrators will put as much focus and resources into the women’s game, and I know a lot of people are trying, I know the West Indies have been better, Australia are a shining example of how to do it, England have been good. So I hope that the stress on the development... I want to see another Shafali Verma somewhere, a Rodrigues (Jemimah) coming through, a Smriti Mandhana, a Meg Lanning, more Meg Lannings. So we have to infuse more resources economically and otherwise into the grassroots game and make sure we get it going again, given whatever is needed, is needed,” says Ian Bishop stressing on the need to not let women’s cricket remain a mere footnote in cricket’s efforts to return in the post-pandemic world.

India were expected to tour England in September with the ECB wanting to host a triangular series with South Africa but the BCCI have pulled out of the tour, leaving the team with no series any time in the near future.

“It is not a case of neglect. You need at least six weeks to be match fit and with the COVID-19 affecting most part of the country, is it possible to organise a training camp right away? Then you would also have 14-day quarantine England,” BCCI’s Apex Council member Shantha Rangaswamy told PTI following the decision.

However, almost one month later, no move has been made by the BCCI to even get the women’s team to start training again. This, while England, Australia and New Zealand got their teams back in the nets in July itself.

According to Bishop, the way Australia have handled women’s cricket over the years should be an example for India to follow.

“Australia do sport well. The facilities they offer, the marketing of sport in general, and women’s cricket in particular, is second to none. The financial investment they have made. India have the economic resources to follow that template and take it to another level and that would be my shoutout to the administrators there. There is a great opportunity to take the women’s game globally to another level with enough investment and enough vision,” he said.

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