August 3, 2010

Women's cricket

Girls on film

Akhila Ranganna

If Chak de! India, a Hindi movie, helped focus attention on women’s hockey in India, ‘Poor Cousins of Million Dollar Babies’ hopes to do the same for women’s cricket. This 27-minute documentary-drama, researched, scripted and filmed by cricket historian Sunil Yash Kalra focuses on the lives of India’s women cricketers, their struggles against the odds and their triumphs. “If a male cricketer receives Rs 250,000 for a match, a female player gets Rs 2500. They travel for their matches in unreserved train compartments,” Kalra told IANS. “It’s nothing comparable; still they are happy to play and this is what I wish to highlight in the film.”

Lack of sponsorship had held the project back, but the problem has been solved and Kalra hopes to showcase the film at various international festivals. Shot over four years in South Africa, Australia, England, West Indies and India, the film – in which Anjum Chopra, one of the seniormost current Indian players, has been involved - also focuses on the inter- personal relationships and the camaraderie between the players. “‘Not many people know how much fun we have together,” said Jhulan Goswami, the captain of the women’s team. “This side of us has never been shown, besides all the inside footage that the media never has.”

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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