Don’t tinker with the very fabric of the game to attract audience: Shikha Pandey on women’s cricket suggestions

By: Sports Desk |

Published: June 28, 2020 1:20:56 pm

Shikha Pandey objects to women’s cricket suggestions floating around (Source: PTI)

Indian pacer Shikha Pandey on Saturday took to Twitter to counter suggestions aimed at increasing engagement with audience in women’s cricket. She said that most of the ideas were ‘superfluous’ and asked not to change the very nature of the game in order to attract crowd.

After a recent ICC webinar featuring New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine as well as Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha, who boasts of 113 wickets from 104 matches, said, “I have been reading/ hearing a lot about the changes being suggested to help grow women’s cricket/ make it a more attractive product. I personally feel most of the suggestions to be superfluous.”

“An Olympic 100m female sprinter doesn’t run 80m to win First place medal and clock the same timing as her male counterpart. “So the whole ‘decreasing the length of the pitch’ for whatever reasons seems dubious. Also, it almost definitely takes the double headers out of question,” wrote the 31-year old Shikha, who is also a serving officer of the Indian Air Force.

Shikha appealed for patience, promising that it will only get better from here. “Please don’t bring the boundaries in! We have surprised you with our power-hitting in recent times, so remember, this is only the beginning; we will get better. Please have patience. We are skilled players, who are evolving,” wrote Shikha.

Instead of changes in rules, Shikha suggested a change in marketing strategy. “Growth can also be achieved by marketing the sport well. We don’t have to tinker with rules or the very fabric of the game to attract an audience.

“Why not have DRS, Snicko, Hotspot, all of the technical acumen and live broadcast for every game that we play anywhere in the world,” she questioned, asking for more investment at the grassroots. Last but not the least, she made a defining point stating that women’s cricket shouldn’t be compared to the men’s game as both are completely different in its essence.

“Please, don’t compare women’s sport, women’s cricket, in this case, with men’s sport. We need to see it as a different sport altogether … A sport that 86,174 spectators turned up to watch on March 8, 2020 and several million watched live on their television sets,” Pandey said, referring to their T20 World Cup final against Australia at the MCG.

“They saw something special in us, and here’s hoping you do too,” she concluded with a hastag “champions in our own rights”.

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