As New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr makes her international cricket debut, we need to ask the question-where are India’s finest women cricketers?
The ICC Women's Cricket Rankings peg India at the 5th spot. Australia enjoys the first place, followed by England, New Zealand and the West Indies.
Given that the international cricket itinerary and schedules for tournaments for 2016-2017 hardly show the Indian women's team playing, perhaps the fifth position is not so bad.
While India is a cricket crazy nation, we draw a line when it comes to our women taking to the crease. We are not lacking in talent, but in resources, acknowledgement and support. Players like Anjum Chorpa and Mitali Raj have been great sportswomen and leaders.
In an earlier interview, Anjum had said, “Women still haven’t won a World Cup. The day we do, there will be a change. There will be money, there will be endorsements, and everything else,” she said, adding, “Until a year ago, there was no finance involved; women in cricket were not paid, but we still played, for the love of the game. Today, times have changed, and there’s money.”
The news of teenage leg spinner Amelia Kerr being selected to make her international debut just days after her 16th birthday is exciting for sure. She has been picked in the New Zealand women’s cricket side for the home series against Pakistan. Amelia comes from a sports background. She is the granddaughter of Bruce Murray, former New Zealand test player and the daughter of Robbie and Jo Kerr, both of whom represented the Wellington men’s and women’s teams.
The series, which starts on 9th November, will comprise of five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international.
According to an interview he gave to ESPN, the New Zealand coach Haidee Tiffin said changes like Amelia’s inclusion were done keeping the 2017 Women's World Cup in mind. He said, "Our strategy is to use the opportunities we have to challenge players and to evaluate our game plan, in order to give us the best possible lead-in to the 2017 World Cup."
As other teams prepare for the World Cup 2017, it is time for the Indian contingent to closely scrutinise their competition, chalk out their strategy and head out to the field to make their mark.