After the women ICC cricket world cup in England this year, the time has changed for Indian women cricket. India reached the final of the World cup where they were defeated by the England women’s team.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India now has planned a Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the women cricketers, BCCI General Manager Ratnakar Shetty said in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
“We are now planning to have a FTP at the international level like the men’s team for ODIs and T20s and that is working out well. Don’t go by the quantity of matches but go by the fact that we will be playing better teams in the next two years and our girls will get a chance to compete at that level,” said Shetty.
Ratnakar Shetty was speaking on women’s cricket at the 40th National Convention of the Sports Journalists Federation of India.
“Women’s cricket came under BCCI in 2006 and the last 11 years has seen a lot of progress in terms of facilities that are available for girls, even at the state level and the BCCI level,” he said.
“There is a common question that there are not enough matches for women. What is important to understand is that, and this was at the ICC forum I attended, countries like England and Australia are not keen on Test matches. Every country and ICC is first interested in creating a base for women’s cricket for promotion of the game in all the nations which play cricket,” said Shetty.
“Therefore the focus is only on limited overs cricket, the ODIs and T20s. In the ODI World Cup in England recently, the girls played some outstanding cricket and suddenly there was a lot of enthusiasm among the journalist fraternity which was not seen earlier. And because of the matches being shown on television, girls like Mithali (Raj) became a household name, and someone like Harmanpreet (Kaur) is equivalent to a men’s cricketer and that gives us great joy,” he added.
“We have restructured the women’s cricket at the junior level and we will have an U-16 tournament at the zonal level because I can tell you from my experience that it is not easy to get 15 players in every state association.
“So this year we will have zonal tournament for U-16. We already have a U-19 tournament and we have U-23 where they play One-day games and this year onwards they will play T20. We have a senior women’s tournament where we have one-day games, three-day games and T20s. The U-19 girls also play two day games, so this is the structure we have decided for women’s cricket under BCCI,” he said further.
Women’s cricket in India saw some really positive aspects from last two years or so. Indian women’s T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur become first Indian cricketer which played franchise T20 league outside India. So this move of FTP is a big boost for the women’s cricket in India.