Former players critical of BCCI's handling of women's cricket

Women's CricZone Staff
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The Indian team stand dejectedly after losing the final of the T20 World Cup. © Getty Images

pull out of the proposed tour of England in September citing logistical issues has attracted criticism from various quarters including former Indian cricketers.

India were scheduled to travel to England for a bi-lateral series in late June, but the tour was postponed in light of the restrictions imposed by the governments owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were in talks with the BCCI to convert the series into a tri-series including South Africa in September.

Although there is still no official confirmation from the BCCI, Clare Connor, managing director of women’s cricket of the ECB, confirmed to Women’s CricZone that India will not travel to England for the proposed tri-series.

“ECB is safely conducting the Test series against West Indies within a bio-secure environment. So, safety can’t be a reason for the pull out,” Lopamudra Bhattacharya, former selector, was quoted as saying to The Times of India. “This is the only scheduled tour before the big-ticket event next year. Pulling out has put the Indian team on the back foot. With this decision the rising graph of women’s cricket has suddenly nosedived.”

ALSO READ: Clare Connor confirms India will not travel to England for tri-series 

There have been reports about the possibility of Women’s T20 Challenge not going ahead during the IPL play-offs which is scheduled to be played in November and it could clash with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). As per reports a decision regarding this will likely be taken at the next IPL governing council meeting.

“Apparently it looks they are ignoring women’s cricket, but the BCCI is under tremendous pressure. Men’s IPL is the money churner and it will be a priority,” said Shanta Rangaswamy, former India player and BCCI apex council member.

Anjum Chopra, former India captain, feels the BCCI could have arranged a training camp in isolation with the England tour in mind. “The squad could have gotten together at a venue like Dharmasala or Ahmedabad and started training in isolation. Most international teams are back in training barring India,” she said.

ALSO READ: South Africa resume training 

The BCCI is yet to appoint new set of selectors since the last panel led by Hemlata Kala completed their tenure with the selection of the team for the T20 World Cup. They have invited applicants to fill the posts in January, but since then the posts remained vacant.

“It is going to take some time because this need following of protocol as interviews will need to be taken by a committee as per the BCCI's new constitution, and this will have to be cleared by them and it's very difficult to do it without face-to-face meeting. Since there is no women's cricket at the moment till October, I think we will get it done before that,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told ESPNCricinfo.

Jaya Sharma, former Indian opener, said she, and other applicants for the post are yet to receive any communication from the BCCI.

BCCI’s general managers (game development) have been in charge of women’s cricket over the years and the post is vacant now with the resignation of Saba Karim, former India wicket-keeper. Former Indian cricketers have been asking for a dedicated personnel to head women’s cricket within the BCCI.