Former players left scrambling for old records

Former players left scrambling for old records

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Cricketers who played both international and domestic tournaments under the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) are in a spot of bother.  The lack of records for matches played between 1973 to 2005 mean women cricketers across the country are desperately searching for evidence of having played matches organised by the WCAI before 2006.

“Over the last twelve months many of them have been calling up team-mates, scorers, statisticians and friends in the newspaper offices to collect score sheets and  clippings of the matches in which they had played,” Sportstar reported.

Since only players with verified records who have played a certain number of matches will be granted membership in the Indian Cricketers’ Association (ICA), players have been scrambling to get hold of their numbers through any possible means.

Earlier this week, the Committee of Administrators recognised the ICA as the official body for both male and female former players. The ICA is registered under section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 with Kapil Dev, Shanta Rangaswamy and Ajit Agarkar as its Directors. The following are the eligibility criteria to apply for membership:

(1) men and women ex-cricketers who have played at least one international cricket match in any format of the game at the senior level; 

(2) male ex-cricketers, who have played at least ten first class class matches at the senior level;

(3) female ex-cricketers who have played at least five class matches in any format of the game at the senior level, and

(4) differently-abled ex-cricketers, who have played either international cricket or first-class cricket, where such cricket is recognised by the ICC or the BCCI and is organised by the BCCI or a body recognised by the ICC or the BCCI, in any format of the game at the senior level.

As per this, it was also stated that three senior one-day matches, and five senior T20 matches of all BCCI organised tournaments shall count as one First-Class match for women.

Players have been given a period of 20 days to apply for membership to the ICA through their state associations while also providing the relevant proof that they meet the eligibility criteria. Since the WCAI never maintained records, this is proving to be a problem for many of the female domestic players.

"Most of the matches played by the women were one-day matches and only the final of the national championship was a three-day match,” Nutan Natu told Sportstar. “I have played many matches over a period of four or five years, but all zonal and the inter-zonal were one-day matches.”

Shubhangi Kulkarni, former India captain and secretary of WCAI until 2006, said that certain states kept records of the women’s games as well, and that those could be used to help players from those specific states gain membership.

While international records have been obtained by the BCCI from the International Women’s Cricket Council, it is the domestic matches that are causing a problem for all the players.