Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in India, with players treated like celebrities and worshipped throughout the nation. However, for a sport so popular there exists major discrepancy in the manner in which female counterparts of the same profession are treated. The Indian women’s cricket teams lacks recognition, with constant unfair parallels being drawn with their male counterparts, despite not receiving half the benefits as compared to the men’s team.
Mithali Raj, Indian women’s cricket team skipper addressed these issues in a recent event. When asked by a reporter who her favourite men’s cricketer was between India and Pakistan, the veteran player came up with a perfect response that put and end to the barrage of sexist questions female players are subject to.
“Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?” she said to the reporter in question.
“I have always been asked who’s your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is.”
She received praise from people all over social media.
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) June 22, 2017
Raj was attending the opening dinner and media roundtable event on the eve of the ICC Women’s World Cup.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 22, 2017
She was careful in pointing out that Indian women do not receive the same amount of publicity as the men. “There’s a lot of difference because we are not a regular on television. Now the BCCI has made an effort that the last two home series have been televised and social media has improved a lot of it but there is a still a lot of catch-up to do in terms of recognition,” she said.
Raj said the team has benefitted under the guidance of coach Tushar Arothe.
“Men’s cricket sets the bar. We are always trying to reach where they set the standard. All of us follow men’s cricket because we want at some point that women’s cricket would be up there,” she said.