Women's World Cup 2013

Women's game not ideal but that's reality - Chopra

Amol Karhadkar

February 6, 2013

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Jhulan Goswami picked up four wickets, England Women v India Women, 2nd ODI, Taunton, July, 4, 2012
India have played 26 ODIs in the period between the 2009 World Cup and the ongoing one, less than Australia, England, New Zealand and West Indies © AFP
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Players/Officials: Anjum Chopra
Series/Tournaments: ICC Women's World Cup
Teams: India

Anjum Chopra, the former India captain, believes women's cricket hasn't developed as much as it should since being taken over by the BCCI in 2005. However, unlike her predecessor Diana Edulji, who squarely blamed the BCCI, Chopra said it was a reflection of reality and of market forces in sport.

India failed to qualify for the Super Six stage of the World Cup after their defeat to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

"I don't blame the BCCI for it. I don't blame them completely. I know it's a big statement but there are reasons," Chopra, currently a technical advisor to the South African women's team, told ESPNcricinfo. "Ideally, I would have liked to be in the same boat as men cricketers. But I come from a managerial background and I understand finance. So if I say it has to be on the same pedestal, it would be unfair."

Chopra, the first woman cricketer to earn 100 ODI caps, felt it was too much for Indian women's cricket to ask for the same monetary benefits as their male counterparts. "I can ask for the same adulation but I can't ask for the same remuneration. It will take myself and my game some time to reach that level," Chopra said.

"I look at it from this perspective: if somebody is getting ten rupees and I am getting two, at least I know that somebody is getting ten rupees and I can also get ten at the end of the day. Let's work hard and bridge that gap. If I don't get [that money] after performing, I can come back and complain. But at least I know somebody is getting, so the world is wide open.

"I had a chat with the sponsors of the men's team and asked them why they didn't sponsor the women's team. They said, 'The Board never forced us to do it, so we took the easier way out.' Again, it's their decision. I am just an onlooker and commenting on it. But I am sure they would have sat down and discussed it before making that decision. Again, I would say the world is far wide open, it's not closed."

Chopra said the issue of remuneration worked differently for different people. "I had a job so I was getting paid even before the BCCI came in. The remuneration has increased and, though it's not gone from zero to hundred, a lot of players were not getting paid at all [earlier]. As I say, when you are in a bigger structure and you are small fry, you have to learn to swim as well. If you learn to swim in a pond, you can learn to swim in an ocean later."

The other point of concern for India's women cricketers is the drastic reduction in their international commitments over the past eight years. India played just 26 ODIs between the 2009 and 2013 World Cups, much less than the top three teams in women's cricket. Australia, England and New Zealand have featured in 36, 39 and 34 ODIs during the same period. Even West Indies, ranked lower than India, have played 38 ODIs during the same period. The lack of game practice was perhaps one of the major reasons for India bowing out of title race in the preliminary round.

This is in stark contrast to their schedule when the sport was under the Women's Cricket Association of India. "That's a drawback," Chopra admitted. "We could have played more international cricket. Again I say, I don't know why the BCCI has reduced our international commitments. But looking at it from their perspective, I know that they say that if you are the fourth-ranked team in the world, you should play against the top three teams; not the ones who are below us, which is fair. But the difference right know is so great that we are not able to climb higher. So, I would rather get the best results out consistently as a player or as a team member and then knock on the doors for opportunities."

Despite having joined the South African set-up, Chopra stressed that she is "still an active player" and the thoughts of hanging up her boots have never crossed her mind. In fact, she is relishing being a part of the dressing room of an international team, that too for a World Cup. "First of all, I am getting an opportunity to be with an international team, which is a huge honour for me. The best part is, I am still around the dressing room that has some of the players who I have played against.

"Besides, there are a few talented cricketers coming about. Working for Cricket South Africa, especially to talk about the South African culture and the great sporting culture over there, I get to know what's happening on the other side of the world. So it's been brilliant. Especially, their men's is doing so well, so you get to know a lot about how they prepare, how they interact and what all are the things they do while preparing for a big series."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Fijicricket on (February 7, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Yet another India win over Pakistan in a world cup. Such easy win to reach the target with six overs to spare .The score now in India v Pakistan in world cups 1s 9-0 whitewash!

Posted by dineshdbest on (February 7, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

Women cricket players need exposure. I think adding a slot for 1 women player in IPL can gain a lot. If we can have a composition of 4 foreign players 5 Indian players and 2 un capped, then we can also add 1 women player in the slot anywhere.

Posted by kc69 on (February 7, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

A team that scored 84,104 and 81 all out in last 3 matches this score of 192 for 7 is not bad at all but i still hope Indian women win this to salvage some pride.

Posted by pauliangenius on (February 7, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

GO GO team INDIA and get whipped by Pakistan also. If Srilanka, can thrash India, Pakistan can hammer the final nail in Indian women cricket.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (February 7, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

PAk scored 192 which is too much for India I think. Ms Raj learnt from Aussies to make a lot of talks and to critisize opponents before matches. Before Eng game she said English got only one good bowler. Ms Raj, stop critisize opponents to media. Discuss your own team problems.

Posted by crkt4evr on (February 7, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

really india women team needs lots more support and they DESERVE it....people just watch a few WC matches n start complaining but tend to forget how much they have helped/supported on their journey till there...i really dont know the reason for our team doing so well in spite of lots of hurdles...we r PROUD OF U n wil always b so!

Posted by Nampally on (February 7, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

@Amol Kharadkar: Why are are you holding up all my inputs 2 on this & another 2 on BCCI Taxation article. I have been a regular contributor to this Forun with my comments since about a decade & never experienced this before! My write up appears as Feature one in the ROI Match Report.

Posted by Rahulbose on (February 7, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

Her comments on women's cricket are spot on. Maybe a good way to look at women's cricket is to think of 20-30 years back the state of men's cricket team in India. The 1983 world cup winning side did not have million dollar contracts, they were used to bad administration and sub-par facilities in domestic cricket. Yet they played and proved their skill on the ground and won over the fans.

Posted by   on (February 7, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

You need quality and now that is missing here. Rightly said, don't just blame the BCCI. Only England and Australia keep winning majors. Others, not so sure. Still a long way to go. Honestly how many people turn on their TV set and watch these games. Only the family members of the players I bet.

Posted by nuwanr on (February 7, 2013, 2:03 GMT)

Had Indian should have played more beautiful girls, the result could have been different. Just a thought.

Posted by CricFanKrish on (February 6, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

No problem, ladies! You did try very well in a male dominated sport. If only the sports bodies allow you all to play more cricket, you can learn with experience and win more. I just hope that happens and at least give you enough pay to have some useful pocket money, even if not a regular income. Please don't get me wrong here. I would definitely be really happy if and when the regular income starts coming. Just that in the process if the pocket money (which appears to be very low as of now) is improved, you all could at least pay your cricket expenses through that.

Posted by Nampally on (February 6, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

I would like to ask Anjum Chopra what individual enumeration should the Women's Cricket team get- when she says that they cannot expect parity with Men's salaries. Currently as per Diana Eduljee the Women Cricketers do not get "ANY Monthly salary". On the contrary, Men Cricketer get annually approx. $ 1 million, $1/2 Million & $1/4 Million for Grade A,Grade B & Grade C contract players + endorsement money. How fair is it to give Women no salaries + no endorsement + no sponsors, whilst the Men are rolling in $$$. If you offer such a proposal with huge parity betwn. Men & Women in the same sport, say in Canada, USA or England there will be huge public outrage! There is saying "Squeeking wheel gets oiled first". I like to see more women's squeeking voices in this forum especially because it is women's Cricket team we are discussing about. It is obvious that the Indian Women are playing with big financial disadvantage & India wants them to win the WC!

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 6, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

@Vijay_Phandihar: Well said! It would be good to see the BCCI actively supporting women's cricket as the ECB supports England's & CA Australia's. Unfortunately, if your mantra is 'Profitable enterprises only', as you'd expect from a cabal of businessmen, this seems a tad unlikely. I am one of many who waits for a financial commitment from the BCCI that demonstrates that they are interested in something more than a quick and lucerative return on any of their investments. To them cricket is merely a means to increased personal wealth. That is no way to run the national sporting passion. Now consider how low on the prospective investments' list women's cricket must be! In truth, the thumping India's women received at the hands of SLanka (India's poor relative) shd be a wake-up call. Let's see what measures the BCCI take to remedy the situation... Anyone holding her breath?

Posted by ozziespirit on (February 6, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

Much more needs to be done for the women's game. The ICC should invest more heavily in it, esp in the poorer nations.

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (February 6, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

Ideally BCCI should not think in terms of making a profit out of women's cricket at the moment. They are making tons of money from men's cricket anyway. It should be about empowering women and serving as an inspiration for girls. It'll be an investment that will bear fruits in future.

Posted by Kapil_Choudhary on (February 6, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

I think the problem here is that Diana expected a little too much from the BCCI. Yes, the BCCI has done a bad job with women but the fact is that they are not geniuses who can miraculously make the women popular. Cricket took off in India not because of BCCI but because a no. of things came together. India won the WC in 1983 (as complete underdogs), then won the world champ in 1985 with stellar tv coverage from Aus, the popularity of TV itself then soared and all this coincided with the arrival of Tendulkar who ensured that India always had a chance to win (at least in ODIs) no matter the opposition. Besides getting the WC to India in '87 and '96, BCCI gets credit only for staying out of the way (something which other sports feds in India, like say the IHF or the AITA, often fail to do) and piggy-backing on all the fortunate developments. Similarly, the women need a WC win (and nothing less) to get popular. BCCI gave them the best opportunity by hosting the cup but the girls blew it.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (February 6, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

I watched the match, and I honestly think India did really well. I don't remember the names, but I remember you had around two very good fast bowlers. And one girl tried to win the match with a big heart, she closed her eyes and imagined leading to victory somehow. You cannot blame them, it's just the nature of the game. So, just get on with it. The problem with us, as well as Indians is, we want to win, and we need it too much. It's not a war, it's just a game. If you win, it's good, if you lose, it's ok. You did well.

Posted by FighterKallis on (February 6, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

hey girls chuck eng and aus atleast once then ask for recognition

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (February 6, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Why do you need that much of money for Cricket? I firmly believe that the people (boys and girls, both) who come from the very rural areas can defeat anyone, because they have the experience over year with various things. Comparing 25 year old village born person with a town person, I think, the villager is 10 times beyond the town person. This is what I saw in Sri Lanka. Look at Jayasuriya, he came from Matara where there was only one school famous, but its not the famous cricketing schools in SL. But, I would say, without Jayasuriya, we would have never won the 1996 worldcup (not to boast). I think villagers have depth in their life full with experience, and the skill to face hardships. You don't have to make a player's life a bed of roses. It's tough for everyone in our Asian countries. Help them with everything. Don't make the game a business. You will get money, but make sure you play for the country. Of course, I think you do, just to add to your opinion.

Posted by cricpolitics on (February 6, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

Don't force cricket on women. It's never been women's game. Women's are just not made for cricket. No wonder why there is no one to watch the women cricket matches.

Posted by Nampally on (February 6, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

While I agree with Anjum Chopra that the elimination of Indian team from this WC was not entirely BCCI's fault, I have to point out how rusty this team was. Batsmen were flashing at WIDE balls & getting Out!. You get a free single + an extra ball each time you refrain from flashing at them.When you forget the very basics of rules, you are out of touch. Secondly, the Team performance went down from 270 runs in the first match to about half that in the 3rd!. Also the runs conceded increased, due to bowling getting progressively sloppy. BCCI have a big hand in not preparing these women to have a lasting stamina & endurance. If they do not get paid properly they cannot take time off for Cricket. Some cricketer are so poor they need money to "survive". MS.Chopra came from rich background. So it is fine for her to lecture! But many girls in the Indian team are really poor. Money Talks- It changed SL team from "Minnows to giant killers"! Let BCCI take a page out of the SL's book & learn.

Posted by bipulkumar on (February 6, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Whatever happened to Indian team has nothing to do with BCCI, sponsorship etc. They had better talent than where they ended up and they lacked focus.

Posted by perl57 on (February 6, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Kapil did not have any support but his team won the world cup. So what is the complaint here?

Posted by   on (February 6, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

@SK5983. It is her inconsistant performance (in terms of results) which apparently kept her out!

Posted by   on (February 6, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

BCCI should arrange MORE international matches for our womens' cricket team. It doesn't matter, whether they play against higher ranked teams or lower ranked teams. In fact, they should play against ALL international teams. There is nothing like learing from the real match situations. What is happening now may be dismissed away as the play of market forces and 'financial returns oninvestment (ROI). Everything can not be and should not be measured by ROI alone.There are larger developmental objectives, which people in power are totally neglecting. Look at the two extreme ends in the spectrum of BCCi's time, efforts, interest , and involement. IPL at one end and Womens' Cricket at the other end. It is just NOT fair. More and more frequent exposure is the key.

Posted by K.A.K on (February 6, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

The most exciting game of women's Worldcup - Pakistan vs India - for 7th position :)

Posted by buddhikapm on (February 6, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Cant agree...there is a siginificant development..may be indian cricket not developed

Posted by realfan on (February 6, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

what women cricket lacks in INDIA is the support they get, be it from the people or be it from the BCCI ... they are not getting even 5 % of the support that men's team are getting..... my instance.... our tv's broadcasted STARCRICKET when india played england for 24 hours..... and now they are not allowing acces to star cricket for the women world cup matches.....

Posted by Rahul17_1983 on (February 6, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

Mentally Indian woman cricketers are weak.On crunch situation ,be it match or point,they are very casual

Posted by pioneer101 on (February 6, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

While the women are not expecting to be paid like the men, they surely deserve more than the subsistence allowance they are getting now. Further, if Anjum Chopra wanted to be considered for the Indian team, she should not have taken on the role of technical advisor to South Africa. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 6, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

If she is not retired why she was not selected for World cup.

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Tournament Results
Aus Women v WI Women at Mumbai (BS) - Feb 17, 2013
Aus Women won by 114 runs
Eng Women v NZ Women at Mumbai (BS) - Feb 15, 2013
Eng Women won by 4 wickets (with 18 balls remaining)
SA Women v SL Women at Cuttack - Feb 15, 2013
SL Women won by 88 runs
Eng Women v NZ Women at Mumbai (BS) - Feb 13, 2013
Eng Women won by 15 runs
Aus Women v WI Women at Mumbai - Feb 13, 2013
WI Women won by 8 runs
SA Women v SL Women at Cuttack - Feb 13, 2013
SA Women won by 110 runs
More results »
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