Women’s cricket: The India women’s cricket team will tour England for a one-off Test and a limited-overs series in June with a new coach in Ramesh Powar taking charge once again. While all seems well, that is not the case. The BCCI hasn’t renewed the central contract of the players since September 2020 and hasn’t even reached out to Veda Krishnamurthy, who recently lost her mother and sister to COVID-19, while dropping her for the series. Former Australian cricketer-turned commentator Lisa Sthalekar slammed BCCI on the mismanagement and poor treatment of women cricketers, asking for a players’ association to be established.
In a tweet on Saturday, she said, “Whilst not selecting Veda for the upcoming series may be justified from their point of view, what angers me the most is that as a contracted player, she has not received any communication from BCCI, just to even check how she is coping.”
There is still time to fix this!! pic.twitter.com/LT3hApMioJ
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) May 15, 2021
India batter Veda Krishnamurthy has been out of the national team since the T20 World Cup in March 2020. In the recently concluded series against South Africa, she was not considered. However, during this time, she has gone through a difficult personal phase. After Veda Krishnamurthy lost her mother to COVID-19, her elder sister passed away with the same disease a few days ago.
“A true association should deeply care about the players that play the game, not focus solely on just the game at any cost. So disappointed. As a past player, the ACA have reached out daily to see how we are provided all kinds of services,” Lisa Sthalekar further said in the long tweet.
It should be noted that despite BCCI President Sourav Ganguly claiming that the board has been wrongly criticised for not doing enough for women’s cricket, the governing body is yet to renew contracts of Mithali Raj & Co. In a step-motherly treatment, the men’s cricketers have been kept in the loop over all the arrangements and even been provided doors-step COVID-19 test before the England tour.
However, the same BCCI hasn’t reached out to Veda Krishnamurthy after her loss. In many countries, the players’ associations have done the job during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping a tab on players’ fitness and even their mental health. However, in India, a players’ association is only limited to retired cricketers. The current Indian players do not have an association that can negotiate with the board or voice players’ onion.
“If there was a need for a Player Association in India, surely it is now. The stress, anxiety, fear and grief that many players have experienced through this pandemic will take its toll on them as individuals and inadvertently affect the game,” Lisa Sthalekar added.