After India women’s tour of England got cancelled last week, several fans have alleged that BCCI is busy preparing for the Indian Premier League and has ignored women’s cricket. But former women’s cricketer and Apex Council member Shantha Rangaswamy has not blamed BCCI but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic behind the reason for the hiatus in women’s cricket.
The women’s team last played the T20 World Cup 2020 grand-finale where they lost against Australia in March. Since then, they have been in their homes and haven’t played a competitive match. They were to set to play the tri-series against England and South Africa in September for the preparation of the World Cup 2021 in February-March. However, the coronavirus being the spoilsport has ruined all the plans.
There was just not enough time: Shantha Rangaswamy
Shantha Rangaswamy counts the problem which will be faced if England’s tour is organised. She said that it was impossible to organise a training camp instantly because of the rising cases in India.
“It is not a case of neglect. You need at least six weeks to be match fit and with the COVID-19 affecting most part of the country, is it possible to organise a training camp right away? Then you would also have 14-day quarantine England. There was just not enough time to make it happen,” she told PTI.
It’s sad, we have gone back a couple of years: Shantha Rangaswamy
Rangaswamy added that the coronavirus break has hurt the women’s cricket, stating that it has taken back them a couple of years back.
In India, women’s cricket has never been par with the men’s cricket though, in past years, there has been a positive shift among the audience.
“COVID-19 has hurt world cricket, more so women’s cricket. We have gone back a couple of years after a record attendance for the T20 World Cup final at MCG in March. It is sad and an anti-climax,” Shantha Rangaswamy said.
Meanwhile, there is also a possibility that India may not get enough game time before the ODI World Cup in New Zealand in February-March.