One of the famous franchise of Indian Premier League (IPL), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was supposed to host a mixed-gender game featuring Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and few others but their request has been turned down by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), revealing that the contracted players are not allowed to take part in any kind of exhibition games, the Indian Express reported that on Saturday.
RCB, on the other hand, had thought to organize the game after the ongoing ICC World Cup in England. Even the promotions were going on during the IPL 2019 with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted before the BCCI gave permission. They didn’t even fix a date for the mix-gender match and now it seems that the franchise did not take permission from the BCCI earlier.
“The RCB had asked for permission for a mixed-gender Twenty20 exhibition match, as part of a campaign launched by Royal Challenge Sports Drink but it is against the BCCI rules. The BCCI doesn’t allow players to be part of exhibition games and that is why the request was turned down,” one of the BCCI sources was quoted as saying.
— Royal Challenge #ChallengeAccepted (@RCGameforLife) April 26, 2019
However, the franchise had a press release in April as well where India, as well as RCB captain Virat Kohli, said, “Be it men or women, cricket is one game, and I want to urge fans to break the boundaries that exist in their mind that divides the sport by gender. Equality in sports is ultimately a reflection of equality in life, and if we want a better tomorrow, then we need to say #ChallengeAccepted and start breaking down all stereotypes.”
India ODI captain Mithali Raj shared her thoughts regarding the campaign, stating, “Over the recent years, women’s cricket has made a lot of progress in terms of earning respect from fans and experts but the playing field is still not equal and the true difference are seen when there is parity in opportunities, salaries, coverage and fan support.”
India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur also shared her views, saying, “People say that women’s and men’s cricket is not equal because we are not able to face the same challenges on-field. To all those fans, I want to say that neither does the idea of facing a ball at 150 kmph daunt me, nor do I worry about the size of the stadium while hitting a boundary.”
Here is the on-air campaign on Twitter: