Are changes really needed in women’s cricket, asks Jhulan Goswami
India’s leading wicket-taker Jhulan Goswami has echoed teammate Shikha Pandey, stating that it is not needed to bring in more changes when women’s cricket is already on a rise in popularity besides improvement in player’s individual skills. “Shikha Pandey has already tweeted and I appreciate her thought,” Goswami was quoted as saying to Firstpost. “I truly agree with her. Let pitches (sizes) remain the same. (As far as) the ball size in women’s cricket (is concerned), we already use smaller ball than what is used in men’s cricket.”
“You don’t require so many changes to glamourise women’s cricket. In the 2017 World Cup final, you saw a full house, highest viewership on television. In 2020, last T20 World Cup more than 80,000 spectators came to watch the final match. What is the need of changing anything?”
In a series of tweets, Pandey said, “I have been reading/ hearing a lot about the changes being suggested to help grow women’s cricket/ make it a more attractive product. I personally feel most of the suggestions to be superfluous. Why not have DRS, Snicko, Hotspot, all of the technical acumen and live broadcast for every game that we play anywhere in the world. Heavy investments at grass root levels, equal playing opportunities, zero discrimination, etc.”
Earlier, India batter Jemimah Rodrigues and New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine have suggested the size of the ball should be reduced to ‘help the game flourish’ and shortening the length of the pitch to promote the game during an ICC webinar. Goswami, with 200-plus ODI wickets, also explained how women’s cricket has become a better sport to watch with time.
“The girls are improving in every skill, be it fielding or power hitting. They are hitting sixes and boundaries more often, throwing from the boundary line has improved and so has run between the wickets. I don’t think so you need to change a lot of things,” said the Chakdah Express.
“I am glad that people are thinking of women’s cricket. Earlier, these talks were not around us. Now, people are at least talking about it. Good sign that people are putting an effort, putting out a thought around women’s cricket. I am happy people are taking care of women’s cricket in that way.”