'Despite the liability we have to go ahead'

Published: Friday, June 27, 2003, 18:23 [IST]
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'Despite the liability we have to go ahead'
What was the feeling when the votes began to swell in your favour?

Nothing actually (a few laughs). Frankly, I was pretty blank as I was just listening to the counts. And that's because I know you get a lead and later on the other one also picks up. So till it was announced I just... in fact, I think when Shantha and Mr Nikam just jumped up as I got the 14th vote... that's when it kind of struck me that I had actually won.

I get to hear that you are taking over a huge liability. If so how do you expect to overcome that and then progress?

I think we have had a problem of sponsorships in the last few years and we have been trying to get sponsors. The basic thing to do now is to find good sponsors at all levels and we really need to work. Actually, we need to have a group of people working to market the game and collect funds for our association.

Talking of the liability, I, probably, wasn't aware that there was going to be a large deficit but now that it is there, I guess, we have to go ahead and get out of this.

There are a lot of changes, I hear, that you would like to bring about. One of them is the selection panel. What are your thoughts on that?

We tried for a while having this three-member selection panel. I was in the executive committee when this change came about and the reason why we wanted that was we did not want any zonal bias on the selections. I thought it was a good idea to have this three-member selection panel provided we had feedback or somebody supporting these selectors from the zones.

Basically, WCAI does not have the funds to send out people to the various regions for selections. I think if we had the resources to send out people (something like talent scouting) then they give that feedback to the three selectors who in turn could take the decisions then that would have been the ideal situation.

But I think in the present circumstances we have only three selectors and we expect them to go to the zones. And that is something, which has not been practically possible because travelling around for the five zonal tournaments involves a lot more expense & a lot more time. It will be a full time job if somebody wants to do that.

After that experience, I thought, this five-member committee coming from the five zones was the best idea.

What about representations for Railways and Air India?

We have two other teams playing the inter-zonal tournaments namely, Railways and Air India. There was a view that we should give them also representation in the selection committee.

However, basically, I think having five zone-selectors can cover up whatever we are looking for. I say this because Railways and Air India as it is have a lot of cricketers spread all over and those cricketers are going to be part of the committee as at some stage or the other they have either played for Railways or Air India.

So, I feel, this five-member selection panel is going to be the best for women's cricket at the moment.

'Despite the liability we have to go ahead'

That apart, you all have come out with a fixed calendar and generally things are looking good but it is to no avail if you all are not in a position to generate funds. In this short period as secretary how are things on the sponsorship front, what is the picture that you gather?

There are people who are coming forward and showing interest in women's cricket. In order to handle this what we have done in our recent meeting is that we have formed sub-committees to tackle different areas. We have a technical committee, we have a tournament committee and similarly we have a fund raising committee and that committee will be meeting soon to take on decisions as to how to raise the funds.

But, basically, I have found people showing interest in sponsoring and I am very hopeful that we get sponsors not only for our international but also our domestic tournaments.

Up till now we have had three or four people sponsoring women's cricket. Hero Honda has been there and then Sahara has come forward to sponsor, we have had Zandu Balm at some stage. Hero Honda has been there with us right from the World Cup onwards. We are very hopeful that these companies will come forward.

All said and done, your style of functioning is going to be different from that of Anu's? What are the things that you would like to do differently in order to enhance the image and popularity of women's cricket?

I think there is a lot of work to be done in WCAI. Like there are different areas to be covered and it is impossible for one person to do it. So if it is me (secretary) alone who is going to do the job, I don't think it is going to take women's cricket anywhere. We will need a team of people to concentrate on different areas.

I feel the kind of people we have right now is a good blend of the old & experienced hand and as well as some new, energetic & enthusiastic hands in our committee. So that augurs well as I think it is a very good combination.

Like in the last couple of months most of the experienced people are guiding us while the youngsters are coming forward with what we can do. Soon things will start to happen.

Talk us a little into the yearly calendar that you all have come out with?

This year what we have done is plan out our yearly calendar in such a way that it is going to suit our international calendar also. Earlier what we were doing is we started to plan out a little late. So it was like our tournaments would start somewhere around November-December, sometimes December-Jan-Feb. So we wouldn't finish till about March-April, sometimes May-June.

What we plan to do this time is to start by end of September or first week of October and finish off the calendar by 1st week of Feb. And while we have the international calendar on we intend to go through with the junior and sub-junior tournaments as the junior and the sub-junior cricketers are not as much involved. This way we will be in a position to finish all our tournaments in time.

Earlier you had asked me of my style of function. Basically, I would like to have different people handling different things.


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