Yesterday, celebrated Indian cricketer Mithali Raj tweeted about the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge, the female equivalent of the much-publicised IPL, which only has male players. Until then, barely any news was available on the same. Despite having big sponsors like PayTm and Hotstar, the tournament, which begins today, hasn’t even got a quarter of the hype surrounding the IPL, and is therefore being called the ‘prelude’ to a full-fledged IPL. How long will women have to take “baby steps” whilst putting in the same effort as men? If this isn’t a sad glimpse at India’s attitude towards women in sports, what is?
This is a bit confusing because Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Veda Krishnamurthy, and even teen Jemimah Rodrigues have advertisements in their kitty. How long are we going to act like these players don’t have brand value, and can’t generate the kind of fanfare men can? Despite utter negligence, they’ve come pretty far, haven’t they? The only thing that’s a slight improvement, is that other than a daily allowance, this time they will at least get match fees.