Thatscricket - News - Women's cricket in Kerala pretty dismal
Published: Monday, January 29, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
India Abroad News Service
Thiruvananthapuram: The performance of Kerala women in sports has been commendable over the years, but one area where it has taken a backseat is their exploits on the cricket field. Despite the popularity of cricket in Kerala households and the large turnout of young women and girls at stadiums to see their male counterparts in action, the on-field exploits of the women's cricket team in Kerala has been dismal.Kerala women first started playing cricket at various tournaments almost 25 years ago but the standards of the game remain exactly where they began inKerala."The primary reason for poor growth is that there is absolutely no support from any quarters," said Shabeena Jacob, one of the first Kerala women to play cricket during the late seventies."The opposition starts at the home itself, when parents and brothers take no interest to help the girls who are interested in cricket. Most of them feel that if girls were allowed to take up cricket, they would be away from their homes for hours together. I feel it is they who have to help us out. Unless that happens there is going to be no progress," said Shabeena who captained the Kerala senior women's team in the late seventies and early eighties."They feel that playing cricket means spending a great deal of time in the sun. They think that exposure to the sun would make the color of their skin dark. Most parents under this pretext dissuade their children playing cricket," said Shabeena who is presently a South Zone selector and an office bearer of the Kerala State Women's Cricket Association (KSWCA).Adding to all this confusion, the KSWCA does not have any funds to buy even the basic material for their players. The association is propped up by pooling money from among the few association members.KSWCA secretary N K Geethakumari, a former state captain herself, said the present office bearers of the association are determined to give a new face to Kerala women's cricket."We have started talking to several sponsors and we need just Rs 50,000 to start with to give a new impetus to women's cricket in Kerala. One area, which we are seriously working on is to have more number of prize money tournaments and we are also talking to authorities to promote cricket in educational institutions in a big way," GeethaKumari told India Abroad News Service.Another problem, which has been there right from the start of women's cricket, has been the sidelining of players from Kerala. Despite several players doing extremely well, till date there has been no player from Kerala who has played for the South Zone team."Several of us were selected to the team, but when it comes to going to play in the final eleven, we are sidelined," she said.