Women's World Cup 2013

India lack BCCI support - Connor

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 18, 2013

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Mithali Raj plays a cover drive, England Women v India Women, 5th ODI, Wormsley, July 11, 2012
Clare Connor said more of the Indian public need to know about India's female cricketers like Mithali Raj © Getty Images

Clare Connor, the ICC women's committee chairman and former England Women's captain, has blamed the BCCI for India's poor showing at the Women's World Cup.

India finished in seventh place after failing to qualify for the Super Six stage with just one victory from the group phase. Connor has said the team did not receive the support they deserved from their board.

Connor is now head of women's cricket at the ECB who have made the England Women's team the best-resourced in the world but says standards have slipped in India and the BCCI are at fault.

"Generally India have been strong but other teams, Sri Lanka and West Indies who have accelerated so much in the past four years, are overtaking them," Connor said in an interview. "The Indian players and the support staff will look to the BCCI for more support."

"There is such passion for cricket in this country. It probably asks the question whether the women have had the support they deserve because their standards have slipped. While that is partly the responsibility of the players I don't think they had as much support going into this tournament as they would need. That is a shame because they were the hosts and we wanted to bring the World Cup to India because of the passion for the game. It is a shame they didn't make it further in the tournament.

"If there is more support from the BCCI, then standards will rise. The passion is there for the game, people just need to know more about women's cricket probably, and hopefully that support will grow."

Connor said the world cup was a "huge achievement" for the women's game but it was disappointing that the BCCI didn't put as much weight into the tournament as it has done for men's competitions. The Wankhede Stadium was dropped at a late hour to host the final of the Ranji Trophy.

"For me personally the disappointment is that the BCCI has not pulled its way as much as it could have done for the Indian women's team and to support the profile and exposure of this tournament.

"The market for women's cricket in India is massive. It is why we wanted a successful tournament here. We wanted to engage this cricket-mad nation and we wanted people to support the Indian women's team more. We want to grow the game. We want there to be role models and the aspiration to play towards the highest level. Hopefully on television that message would have got across a little bit.

"India is really important for the women's cricket. It has so much passion for the game that has not necessarily flowed into the women's game. Over time I hope that will happen with more high-quality cricket being played. It has huge finance in terms of backing the game. I hope this tournament has gone towards opening up some minds that were closed towards women's cricket in the past."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by anupriya91 on (February 21, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

personally i feel like financial incentives will take at least a good 10 years to be properly introduced or even decided upon. but for players who paid for their own travel fair to go play state matches..2500 is at least something. but the number of matches in a season? without adequate match practice, how can we hone talent? matches need to be increased DRASTICALLY. that is hurting us the most. and what possible reason can the bcci have for not increasing the number of matches? we have screamed ourselves hoarse for the return of u-16 and u-22..they reject it every time. why? does it make sense? it doesn't to me. not one bit.

Posted by anupriya91 on (February 21, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

@mr_anonymous: i understand your point completely. and i agree with it to quite and extent. but please take and moment and re-read whatever i have said and understand my point. we are waiting. what else can we do? i firmly do believe that we have to be in the system to change the system. but the impatience (read-panic) is setting in from the fact that before coming under the bcci, we were a good team. we never lost to sri lanka, pakistan, any other team except nz, aus and eng and on our days we could beat them too. we never exited a world cup before the semis. but now we're losing to west indies, sri lanka and we recently lost in the world t20 to pakistan. if matches are decreasing, how can we attract any viewers? test matches are completely done away with. during the last asian games in china, women's cricket was included...it was an easy gold for india...the bcci refused to send a team. and by charity i meant matches too.

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (February 20, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

> still hoping..waiting..patiently. but after a point we're powerless

I sense a lot of impatience although I don't think you should consider yourself powerless. I'll give you an example of how Aakash Chopra uses his blog to make suggestions and recommendations for improving Indian cricket and has a discussion with other cricket lovers. Maybe some Indian women cricketers need to start doing the same and providing a vision for what they think needs to be done and how we can get there. If there is a vision, then educating the Indian cricket lovers and getting adequate support from the BCCI in small steps is possible. It won't happen by being frustrated, it won't happen overnight and while I hope that it can happen in the next couple or few years, you have to be mentally prepared to face the possibility that it might not even happen during your entire playing career. As long as you enjoy your cricket and are motivated to keep improving and happy playing it, it should be fine.

Posted by Mr_Anonymous on (February 20, 2013, 19:44 GMT)


> how? they dont want us. they never did..bcci was one of the last boards to adopt women's cricket.

First of all let's stay positive. BCCI was probably the last board to embrace T20 also. However, when the Indian viewers embraced the format, BCCI embraced it in a big manner. That has not happened yet for women's cricket. The BCCI cannot force Indian viewers to embrace women's cricket. It has to happen organically for it to be sustainable.

> we're the beggars who should be happy with whatever "charity" we are getting from the bcci.

Getting compensated adequately should be a goal although if financial rewards are the main goal or only goal then I think you can and will get very frustrated. The best batsman in the world (Amla, in Tests and ODIs) probably makes less money than so many other people on the list(s). That has not discouraged him or diluted his run making appetite or his ability to keep improving. Is that fair? Is it Cricket SA's fault?


Posted by anupriya91 on (February 20, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

@mr_anonymous: dont you think that we're forgetting a very central point in our discussion? the "unique" nature of the problem. you gave nehwal's example and anand's..besides being individual sports were a lot can be achieved through individual commitment and effort, most sports associations of india(if not all) come under the ambit of the government...the republic of india. the bcci is accountable to no one. it certainly believes so. you cannot organise a cricket league in india outside the ambit of the bcci without being pariahs. the bcci rejects the claim that it comes under the ambit of even the RTI. it is a "private" organisation with its own rules. so if the will is lacking and there is no clear mechanism to force a "creation of will"..what do we do? we extend a hand but the other party snubs us. all we can do is sit and wait..for it to acknowledge us. but should that mean we cannot complain about the snub?

Posted by anupriya91 on (February 20, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

also. one particular factor that makes me really depressed about the situation. bcci's monopoly over cricket and the politician-businessman-cricket board nexus. if we get a raw deal by the bcci, who do we go to? the icc? does the icc have any power of the richest cricket board? do we go to the govt? apparently cricket is the sole jurisdiction of the bcci and the govt is run by a few politicians with very high stakes in the business of cricket. it all makes me feel powerless and hopeless. maybe by a miracle we will win a world cup in the near future...but given the current attitude and demeanor of the board, i dont think it guarantees anything. its a matter of WILL. there is no real will from the board to improve things. we beg for things, they throw us a penny or the promise of change and then forget us. change cant be overnight, it shouldn't be. but the sport needs SAVING..not improvement. what if there is no women's cricket in the next 50 yrs to bring about change in?

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