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Long queues to watch women’s cricket is a great sign

Soon men and women cricketers will be named as idols in the same breath

Gulf News

The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup has come a long way. Through the 2017 edition which ended on Sunday, the women have shown that they can make people throng the stadiums by producing exciting contests.

No one ever thought that such long queues will ever be witnessed to enter the stadium for women’s cricket.

Through an entertaining final at the historic Lord’s ground between hosts England and India, it has become obvious that women’s cricket as a whole is set for more glory in the coming days.

For those who are blinded by men’s cricket glamour need to understand that women’s World Cup is older than men’s as the first Women’s World Cup was held in 1973, two years before the inaugural men’s event.

It wasn’t a smooth journey for women’s cricket. Initially, the Women’s World Cup was organised by International Women’s Cricket Council and only in 2005 they merged with the International Cricket Council.

There was a time when due to lack of funds several countries declined to even contest in it and the world cup could be staged at times only after a gap of six years.

If women hadn’t worked hard on their game, their cricket would not have been attractive.

For this edition the prize money for the tournament had increased to $2 million, a huge increase on 2013’s figure of just $200,000.

There was a time when people who were least interested in watching women’s cricket used to comment that their skill level and calibre was terrible and boring to watch.

No one would have put in any money for women’s cricket had they produced poor cricket. This year every world cup match was even telecast live.

It was a delight to hear fans who discussed only about men’s cricket debate on the chances of the teams that can win the Women’s World Cup.

Indian captain Mithali Raj is now being compared with Sachin Tendulkar for her consistency.

Women cricketers too now dream of fame and even set milestones.

England’s Anya Shrubsole who destroyed India in the final at Lord’s at the age of 10 had promised her father that one day she will play at this historic ground.

It is indeed laudable that ICC is willing to back women’s cricket in a big way.

The reason is reflected in one of ICC chief executive David Richardson’s comment on women’s cricket when he said that there is a growing interest globally in women’s sports and that ICC want cricket to be in front and centre of this and lead by example.

The very fact that fans are approaching women cricketers for autographs is a great sign. The day when fans will name men and women’s cricketers in the same breath as their idols is not far away.

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SPORT PICTURE OF THE DAY: December 18, 2017


FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds up the Golden Shoe award, as the last season's leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league, prior of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Coruna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain.

AP