Don’t judge BCCI’s commitment towards women’s game on present climate: Shantha Rangaswamy

Don’t judge BCCI’s commitment towards women’s game on present climate: Shantha Rangaswamy

Shantha Rangaswamy © The Hindu

The BCCI’s decision to not send the women’s side to England for a tri-series also featuring South Africa has raised quite a few eyebrows in the past couple of days. And that too at a time when the board has announced the IPL to held in UAE and preparing large for it. But former India and Apex council member Shantha Rangaswamy has rejected the criticism stating the withdrawal is not a case of neglect.



“It is not a case of neglect. You need at least six weeks to be match fit and with the COVID-19 affecting most parts of the country, is it possible to organise a training camp right away? Then you would also have 14-day quarantine England,” Rangaswamy was quoted as saying to Sportstar.



The women’s IPL which usually takes place alongside the men’s tournament is unlikely to happen this year, which leaves the Mithali Raj & Co. with no proper quality game time (baring the 3-match ODI series in Australia) before the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand next year in February-March.



“There was just not enough time to make it happen. COVID-19 has hurt world cricket, more so women’s cricket. We have gone back a couple of years after a record attendance for the T20 World Cup final at MCG in March. It is sad and an anti-climax,” she added.



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The IPL, scheduled for September 19-November 8, is also clashing with the Women’s Big Bash in Australia, where three or four Indian players are expected to participate. “It looks like even nature is conspiring against women’s cricket. Last year, a third team was added to the IPL Women’s Challenge, this year it was supposed to be four.



“Now the shift of venue, more importantly, it is clashing with the Women’s Big Bash, which was already scheduled. Let’s see what the IPL Governing Council decides,” said Rangaswamy. “Going to England was more important than IPL exhibition games. England tour would have been ideal preparation for the World Cup.”



With no selectors currently (which is expected to be finalised by October), women’s cricket is facing uncertain times after making huge gains over the last three years. The 66-year-old asserted that BCCI’s commitment towards the women’s game should not be judged on the basis of the current climate.



“The post COVID-19 scenario will be a testimony to their commitment to women’s cricket. People doubting BCCI’s intentions will have to wait for things to be normal before passing their judgement. The situation was not in their control on this occasion. The late announcement on the men’s T20 World Cup postponement has also given the BCCI little time to prepare for the IPL,” she concluded.
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