Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji, a former India women’s captain, is peeved that the row over the venue for the fourth ODI against India had ended up costing the ladies’ team valuable training time ahead of the World T20 in the West Indies and pointed to a contrast in the authorities’ attitude based on the gender of the players.
The women’s cricket team could not train at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium for the first day of their preparatory camp, as a result of the ongoing bickering between the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the BCCI regarding the hosting rights of the men’s ODI slated for October 29.
“I’m very upset that the Indian women’s team could not start the camp over the venue issue and I don’t think this treatment would ever be meted out to Virat Kohli’s men’s team. Why these different set of rules for men and women?” asked Edulji.
The women’s team was supposed to assemble at the Wankhede to kickstart preparations for the World T20 in the Caribbean. Day 1 was a non-starter, however, as the women were caught in the crossfire between the state body and the Board, as the MCA sulked about the BCCI not having officially responded to issues regarding shifting the men’s match to the adjoining Cricket Club of India at the Brabourne Stadium.
Edulji was upset as the women’s team wasted an entire day. They were to start a six-day camp before departing for the West Indies. The squad was supposed to undergo a yo-yo test on Day One of the camp. However, Tuesday was instead used up getting visas for the players.
Edulji said the camp should have started on Tuesday and she even questioned BCCI general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim, who had assured to work out a solution to the crisis. “The Camp should have started. It’s preparation for the World Cup, no less. Is this the way the women’s team are going to be treated? CoA has given clear directions that the camp should happen today. Why did this situation arise? Why didn’t GM (Operations) manage this? He gave us the assurance that he is working on it,” she added.
On Monday, MCA had informed the BCCI that the Wankhede Stadium can’t host the camp. BCCI had already shifted the fourth ODI from Wankhede to the Brabourne, but MCA members insisted they were still awaiting an official response.