You do not have to be acutely conscious of the differing dynamics of womens and mens cricket to have been stuck by the switch on Saturday morning. Those beginning their cricket-viewing day early,because of the time difference between India and New Zealand,where Dhonis men were aiming to make a clean sweep of the ODI series,found their attention switching. To the other cricket match in the southern hemisphere featuring India; Jhulan Goswamis girls were striving to put behind them the memory of losing all their five ODIs against Australia last year. And by matchs end they did defeating defending champions,Australia,in a key league match in the world cup.
The juxtaposition does not draw from any desire to only watch India win. Attention did not switch because the Indian men were obviously headed for a loss. It was instead that the two matches showed that the womens game can be just as exciting. It is a reminder of how ill-served womens cricket is by the games administrators. The BCCI goes every last inch to ensure that it maximises interest in cricket; but cricket for it is simply mens cricket. To listen to some of the women cricketers who won an entertaining match against the worlds best is to be introduced to the separate universe they inhabit in terms of facilities,coaching support,remuneration and,perhaps most important,attention.
Viewers and spectators will of course and understandably go where their interest takes them. But we fail our sportswomen by not providing them the platform for at least getting a shot at holding that interest.