Punam Raut: The 2017 Women’s World Cup has drastically changed things for women in cricket in India

New Delhi: The 2017 ICC Women’s World Championships in England have drastically changed things for women’s cricket in India, says veteran Punam Raut, who played a decisive 85 runs in the final match of that tournament.Also read – 2022 Women’s FIFA World Cup: England are on their way to the semi-finals after hitting Pakistan with nine goals

Chasing a goal of 229 runes in the final, India was strong, but fell from 191/3 to be knocked out by 219, losing the match by just nine runes. Although India lost that dramatic final, things changed for women’s cricket in the country after that. Also read – Nigar Sultana sees his first appearance at the World Cup as a ‘great opportunity’ for the team

“We were very good at the 2017 World Cup in England and since then things have changed drastically for women’s cricket in India. “Our matches started to be broadcast and had good media coverage, and even parents became more acceptable to girls who play cricket,” Raut told IANS in an exclusive interview. Also read – COVID-19: Cricketers warned to be especially careful on the eve of the World Cup

“Earlier, parents complained, but now they motivate girls to play cricket, so many even ask me about the different levels of women’s cricket and the whole selection process. On the whole, society has changed, more women’s games are being played and new exciting talents are coming, ”she added.

After playing international cricket for about a decade, Punam believes women’s sport in India has changed a lot since it started.

“Many things have improved forever. When I started playing, there was no regular broadcast of our games, and people only knew one or two cricketers, but now the fans follow most of the Indian cricket games, and they know about others as well, ”she said.

“Now we have a decent home structure and a lot of international matches are played in the season. Although the number of games we play is smaller compared to men, it is better than it was. “Young players become exposed on the ‘A’ team’s tours and playing in foreign leagues,” she added.

There is a growing chorus for organizing a full-fledged women’s IPL, and the experienced activist also believes a league with five or six teams is a need of the hour.

“Yes, I am very optimistic about the women’s IPL. The league will help the Indian women’s cricket team get fearless and willing players as we now see with the men’s team. Young people will have the opportunity to socialize with the legends of the game from different countries and this will help them improve their skills, “said the striker.

“It will also serve as a platform for players, who have been kicked out of the Indian team, to prove themselves and come back,” she added.

The 32-year-old also dismissed arguments about a ‘lack of talent’, saying there is no shortage of talent in the Indian women’s cricket line-up.

“I played a lot of home cricket and I can say that we have a lot of talented players. There have not been many of these matches, nor are they broadcast on television, so it is believed that there is a lack of talent. There are a lot of active and even former cricketers who go through the heating of domestic cricket and regularly do good for their teams, ”Raut said.

“However, people only know 15 players who represent the Indian team and their performance in the home round goes unnoticed. Women’s IPLs will also help them gain the right to recognition. So, I firmly believe that we have enough talent in the country to start an IPL with five or six teams, ”she added.

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