Cricket

Aakash Chopra highlights discrimination; demands gender-equality in cricket.

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cricket all around the globe has severely slowed down. The last couple of months saw a number of high-profile tournaments get cancelled/ indefinitely postponed, on account of the associated health risks.  And while international action has gradually started to recommence, particularly in some of the major cricket-oriented countries; things haven’t been quite as efficient as they were in the pre-COVID-19 era. 

The biggest case in point being, women’s cricket- or its lack, thereof. While the gentlemen’s game did make a grand comeback in July last year, women’s cricket hasn’t attained anywhere close to that kind of attention. So far, the BCCI’s T20 Challenge and Australia’s WBBL have been the only two internationally televised female cricketing events in the post lockdown phase. Internationally, women’s cricket is yet to kick-off- and this is coming almost six months since international men’s cricket made a comeback!

But it gets even worse. This January, the Australian women’s team were going to host their Indian counterparts for an ODI series. However, Cricket Australia (CA) recently cancelled the series; owing to a concerning resurgence of Coronavirus cases in the country. Meanwhile, the respective men’s teams will continue to play the Border-Gavaskar test series amidst the pandemic. In fact, the upcoming third test-match in Sydney will go on as planned originally; despite a serious health-crisis situation in the region.

Aakash Chopra raises questions on cricket’s gender hypocrisy

Naturally, fans haven’t reacted positively to these aforementioned developments. A good amount of people took to social media to convey their disappointment over the situation. Former India batsman-turned commentator Aakash Chopra was a prominent name among those people. On Thursday, the BCCI-contracted analyst shared the news of the series cancellation on his Twitter account. He captioned the post asking fans demanding a justification from the authorities concerned. 

Hopefully Aakash and the fans’ outrage gets the relevant authorities to take an appropriate course of action and gets female participation back in the sport. In recent times, Aakash has been quite vocal with his cricket-related insights. Earlier this week, he questioned the ICC for not including any deserving Pakistani player in the team(s) of the decade. He even cast doubts on former India captain MS Dhoni’s position in the squad; reasoning that neither he, nor India, had done anything of note in recent times to accord a selection.

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