Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun
Former India Women captain Diana Edulji has said the creation of a players' association - one of several recommendations of the Lodha committee that was approved by the Supreme Court in a watershed verdict - will empower women cricketers in the country. Edulji is a part of the four-member steering committee, led by former union home secretary GK Pillai, that has been tasked with the responsibility of setting up a players' association.
Edulji said women players now had an outlet to express their grievances and offer suggestions. "I don't know about the men's side, at least from the women's side some of the players are scared to speak," Edulji told ESPNcricinfo. "Maybe with me there, they can come to me, speak to me and I can put forward their views to the authorities and see how best they can be benefited."
Edulji felt a women's representative of the players' association in the Apex Council, which will replace the working committee, would ensure greater accountability. "People will be more answerable. That will also help because we need somebody to listen to us," she said. "There is a women's committee in the BCCI but most of them are not players. Women's cricket needs a little push and I think this is the right time for it."
Edulji said the players' association shouldn't be viewed as an anti-establishment body, and that there was a more positive attitude towards women's cricket with initiatives like the introduction of central contracts for players. "We don't want to antagonise BCCI. We don't want a confrontation, and we want to work together. It is just two parties working together, the players get a little voice in a proper way. [It is] not striking or union types," she said.
"The current lot - I have been with the MCA as well in the cricket advisory committee as well - is favourable towards improving women's cricket. Even in BCCI, I have had a word with Anurag Thakur and they are quite positive."
Edulji, however, was unsure of when the steering committee was going to meet to discuss the formation of the association. "We haven't officially got any information. We have to wait because only the day before [yesterday] have we got the verdict," she said. "We haven't even been sounded out [by the BCCI] yet."