- Ashok Pandey
- for bbc hindi
On Thursday, the BCCI announced a date. From now on, female cricketers nationwide will receive the same match fee as male cricketers. The terms of the annual contract with the Council will also be the same for both. This is a very important decision in this era of gender equality.
After hearing this decision, luxurious names like Diana Edulji, Shantha Rangaswamy, Shubhangi Kulkarni and Sandhya Agarwal emerged in the mind. It was these brave players who almost silently provided such a strong foundation for Indian women’s cricket in the 70s and 80s, following which BCCI took such a big leap forward.
It is the passion of these illustrious women, without notable recognition or propriety, which has not only made women’s cricket survive in India, but also impose itself on all international grounds.
Going into history, it is known that the Indian Women’s Cricket Association was formed in 1973 in Pune, after which three decades later, at the initiative of the International Cricket Organization, this association merged with the BCCI in 2006-07. After this incident, the situation for Indian women’s cricket began to gradually improve.
The Indian women’s cricket team captured the nation’s attention for the first time by reaching the final of the 2017 World Cup in England. Since then, the popularity of women’s cricket has steadily increased across the country.
It was the first time that people not only started to know female cricketers by name, but some of them even started making movies. Names like Mithali Raj, Anjum Chopra and Jhulan Goswami need no introduction.
The partisan tradition of marginalizing women has been present in society for many centuries. This bias is even more visible in the field of sport.
The Boston Marathon, one of the most famous marathon races in the world, had a rule for years that women were prohibited from participating.
Women were not only banned from participating in the Olympics in ancient times, they were not even allowed to watch these games. If a woman was found sitting in the public gallery, severe penalties were expected.
Run up to 200 meters for women only
The modern Olympics began in 1896. In the early years, there were no track and field events for women. For the first time in 1928, races were organized for him. The longest race was 800 meters. German Lena Radke won the race, but many athletes came without proper preparation. Many of them even fainted at the end of the race.
Seeing this, the Olympic Committee decided that the physical capacity of women was not fit to run more than 200 meters. Consequently, longer distance races were excluded from the Games.
The 800 meter race was reintroduced at the 1960 Olympics after repeated calls from female athletes. In 1972, women were given the opportunity to participate in the 1500 meter race. It is surprising to know that until 1980, women were not considered fit to run races over 1500 meters in the Olympic Games.
It was the longest women’s run at the Moscow Olympics that year. The following year, in 1981, for the first time, the International Olympic Organization elected women to its executive committee.
Famous sprinter Sebastian gave a very inspiring speech at an organization rally that culminated in the women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics. This men’s race had been held for ninety years.
The largest marathon in the world other than the Olympics is held annually in Boston. The story of a brilliant female athlete is intimately linked to this marathon.
Bobby Gibb challenged
One was Bobby Gibb. Bobby, who had loved running since childhood, first saw the Boston Marathon as a spectator in 1964. For the first time in his life, he had seen so many men running together. She was mesmerized to see this race which brought the physical capacity of man to its peak. The next day, he started running the marathon.
After two years of hard work, when she applied to participate in the race, she was told that she could not participate according to the rules. Obviously, like the rest of the rules and regulations in the world, all the rules of the games were made by men only.
It was speculated that she would not be able to run more than 800 meters due to her frail and weak physique. It was considered impossible for him to run a twenty-six mile marathon.
By this time, Bobby was running forty miles at a time. She laughed after reading the officers’ statement that a woman could not run more than 800 meters because no insurance company was prepared to guarantee her life if she ran more than her.
Two things came to Bobby’s understanding. Firstly that the general culture of the organizers of the Boston Marathon should be increased a little and secondly that if they could participate in this race, it would be a big step in the fight for the rights of women of their time.
To participate in the race, she traveled by bus for three nights and four days to reach Boston from California. From there, his house was close. Arrived at the station, he called his parents and informed them of his intention. Her father felt that his daughter had lost her mind.
Initially, her mother understood the same thing, but when Bobby told her that her race was a fight for equal rights for women, she started crying. For the first time in her life, the mother sided with her daughter and offered to drop her off for the next day’s race.
They knew she was going to do illegal work for which she could be sent to prison. The next day, April 19, 1966, Bobby reached the starting point of the race wearing Bermuda shorts and his brother’s hoodie. He did this so people couldn’t recognize him. She continued to hide in the bushes until the start of the race. When half the people ran away, she got out and started running.
Bobby Gibb made history
After a while, some runners following her began to speculate that she was female. Bobby took off the hood and told them yes, she is a woman and she is running for her rights. He also said he was afraid he would be kicked out of the race if the truth became known. The other riders assured him that no one would have dared to do that under him.
The news spread like wildfire among runners and spectators. He was well received everywhere. Running commentary of his race began on local radio. At the end of the race, the governor of Massachusetts himself stood there to shake his hand. The story was written and his photos made the headlines the next morning.
Bobby finished the race in 3 hours 21 minutes 40 seconds. More than two-thirds of the participating men were behind them. Despite this, women were officially granted the right to run marathons in 1972.
The need to tell the story of Bobby Gibb in such detail was to highlight the fact that even the rules governing all women’s sports were made by men to the best of their knowledge and convenience. If you take any game in the world you will see this weird and illogical thing.
The status of female cricketers will change
For a very long time, the same situation also happened in women’s cricket. Initially, no cricketer was willing to accept it. Not even a sufficient number of matches were organized for them. If there had been matches, there would have been no special facility to participate in them, and no one would sponsor them.
Despite the unlikely expansion of the cricket market in the 1990s, the status of women’s cricket remained low. For this reason, how many best performances by talented female players could neither come out nor make a place in the cricket record books. Many of her performances with ball and bat could not escape the imagination simply because she was not a man.
There is no record of how many battles women have fought to each gain legitimate rights in their deprived world. Our collective awareness of gender equality has also grown in the past.
Things are slowly changing on the playing field all over the world. Given the BCCI decision regarding our country, we can only hope that the institutions that manage and administer other sports, which have already crumbled before the brilliance of cricket, will also take care of the needs of female players. .