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Sight Screen

Friday, December 30, 2005

Indian eves showing how

For the men, now preparing for the tour to Pakistan, an example to emulate. The bullettin underlines the nature of the match -- one opener makes a quickfire century, the spinners then run riot.
The win is worth celebrating, but in muted fashion -- for reasons cultural and otherwise, Pakistan has not been known to pay much attention to the distaff side of its cricket. Interestingly, while looking back at the year that was for women's cricket, Jenny Thompson had this to say:
International teams have already benefited from various mergers of their men's and women's boards, none more so than in Pakistan where this year the women's game took unprecedented steps forward, under the umbrella of the Pakistan Cricket Board who they merged with in 2004.
After years of trying to gain recognition from the government, the PCB and the public alike, Pakistan finally hosted their first match on home soil, against India Under-21. It was a massive, almost inestimable, stride not just for women's cricket, but for women's rights too in the largely conservative Islamic republic.
Only ten years ago the first moves to introduce cricket to Pakistani women - by sisters Shaiza and Sharmeen Khan - had resulted in death threats and court cases and even in 2003, playing sport in public was virtually unknown for women in Pakistan. But then came the India tour - which was immediately followed up with the first-ever Women's Asia Cup in late December, which was also held in Pakistan.

That also brings up a related issue -- that of the long deferred merger of women's cricket into the BCCI.
"We had spoken to the BCCI president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, a couple of years back about the merger and he had put it to the AGM of the Board. He then replied back saying that the merger is not possible now, but maybe later on."
Kulkarni said the BCCI had been approached again, a couple of months back.
"We have not yet received a response from the BCCI after that. We will be approaching the BCCI again in a couple of weeks," she added.
Kulkarni said she had spoken to ICC president Ehsan Mani in South Africa, and he assured her that the merger would take place.
"He said that he would speak to the BCCI regarding this matter. We are hopeful that a solution will come out soon," she added.

The time is right. Interest is catching on. The team is young, talented, and has produced results -- it could do with encouragement, and financial help. The reasons for backing such a merger are no-brainers.
Ahead of its working committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram in June, then BCCI secretary SK Nair in fact said the issue of the merger was on the agenda. At the end of what turned out to be a contentious meeting, Nair then said the issue had not been taken up for 'want of time'.
Figures -- if you recall, much of that meeting was devoted to a bitter wrangle between Jagmohan Dalmiya and Tamil Nadu's Sreenivasan, over the issue of TN clubs having taken the BCCI to court over the television rights issue.
Water under the bridge. New year, new administration -- one that says it wants to bring about change in administration. I wonder if this issue is on its radar -- or if it, like the previous administration, will follow the 'delay as deadliest form of denial' route.


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