Shantha Rangaswamy says BCCI taking over women's cricket has been beneficial

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Shantha Rangaswamy in the three-member ad-hoc committee to select India coach

Shantha Rangaswamy © The Hindu

Shantha Rangaswamy wants to approach the ICC through the BCCI for making some of the Tests that India played before 1977 official, since they weren’t granted that status.



“Initially, when New Zealand came to India, the team that played us here and later on in New Zealand was almost the same. The series that was played in India was made unofficial, but the one abroad wasn’t,” Rangaswamy told cricket.com.



“I got lots of runs in that series in India (which was declared as unofficial). I had got a century in Pune which wasn’t considered for Test records. Diana (Edulji) also lost on many wickets from her final tally. It all went down the drain. I still want to take up this matter through the BCCI with the ICC and make those Tests as official as it's virtually the same team that we played against a few months later. I don’t understand the logic in calling them unofficial. They had come with their stars (Patricia McKelvey and Pat Carrick). The one against Australia was clearly under-25s, so I am fine with those being called as unofficial, but not the ones against the Kiwis.”



Rangaswamy is the first Indian to score a Test century and that was because of the knock in Dunedin against the Kiwis in 1977. But she had also scored one in the series when New Zealand had toured here.



“So, I would have been deprived of being the first women to score a century for the country had it not been for that knock in Dunedin (in 1977),” she said. “My record would have gone up in smokes. When going in to bat, I had the additional responsibility of being the captain, but it suited me. I needed that extra responsibility and I started relishing it after a while.”



The former India captain is quick to admit, though, that records were the last thing in their mind then as playing the sport took front seat.



“We were content and wanted to play more. But now at this age, it does feel unfair. There are many who played the unofficial Tests but didn’t play later on and don’t qualify for any benefits as they are without the India cap. Forget the figures that we lost, these people are not eligible for any benefits from the BCCI. It still rankles. Hopefully someday I will raise it with the BCCI and ask them to convince the ICC.”



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Rangaswamy also lauded the efforts BCCI has been taking ever since it had women’s cricket under its wings. She was also hopeful of further developments with Sourav Ganguly at the helm.



“Women’s cricket has benefited after BCCI took over because infrastructure, finance and players comforts have been taken care of to a large extent,” she said. “Once the situation eases (with the COVID-19) and we are back to normal functioning, we will see what more can be done. The women cricketers still get less pension than what a Ranji male cricketer does. There is still disparity, but with a cricketer like Sourav (Ganguly) at the helm, I think someday (god willing) I will raise this issue of inequality in pension. Not the right time to raise these issues.”



Rangaswamy pointed to India’s batting as the major reason for not returning with the T20 World Cup trophy. She also expressed confidence in the unit to have good returns in the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021.



“Overall, our batting didn’t click,” she said. “Our bowling has always been good since the inception in India. We have always had good bowlers. It is the batting which has been a problem.”



“I think we have a very good chance. But now the team will be deprived of match practice and the World Cup preparations has been impacted due to the Coronavirus. But since it is a global phenomena, all the teams are going through it. We have to take it in our stride and go forward.”
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