Indian women cricketers to get ‘A’ team

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has approved the idea of forming an ‘A’ team for the women cricketers, quite in the lines of the senior men’s team set-up.

Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj along with coach Tushar Arothe (L) led the team to a World Cup runner-up finish in July this year.   -  Vivek Bendre

 

This is something the women cricketers of the country have been demanding for long, but all this while, little was done to form an ‘A’ team for the eves. While the senior women’s team has performed consistently, most of the players on the fringe rued not getting enough opportunities.

But now, they have something to look forward to. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now approved the idea of forming an ‘A’ team for the women cricketers, quite in the lines of the senior men’s team set-up.

“We need to strengthen our bench strength, and for that, we will be having an A team very soon. This will help us strengthen the side,” the national women’s team head coach Tushar Arothe told Sportstar on Wednesday.

READ: Now, a biopic on Mithali Raj

After finishing runner-up in the Women’s World Cup, Indian cricketers have enjoyed their moment under the sun, and to take the process forward, it has been decided that younger players will be chosen for India A, so that the supply line can be developed. “This process will eventually help the senior team,” Arothe explained.

Once the World Cup was over, Arothe had written to the Board about the future steps for women’s cricket and had asked the BCCI bosses to consider forming an ‘A’ team. A few cricketers—Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Singh—selector Hemlata Kala, too reviewed the idea and gave their nod. In the first week of September, the BCCI called for a meeting in Mumbai to discuss the issue. Arothe, who was in England then, too was contacted via telephone. “Development will not happen overnight, so it is important to start the process now. With the introduction of an ‘A’ team, things will be a lot better for women’s cricket,” the former cricketer added.

READ: Special committee receives suggestions to take forward women’s cricket

The women’s team members are presently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for a preparatory camp, and in the next few months, the players would be in for some tough challenges as they are scheduled to travel to South Africa for a series in January — around the same time when their male counterparts would be touring the Proteas land.

“After the South Africa tour, there is a possibility of England and Australia touring India. This will be a good thing for Indian women’s cricket,” Arothe said.

After a long struggle, Indian women’s cricket has finally got its due, and the players would be hoping to make the most of it.

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