Women seek their place in the sun at World Cup


Published — Thursday 31 January 2013

Last update 31 January 2013 2:18 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MUMBAI: The women’s World Cup opens in Mumbai today with the cricketers hoping to put aside memories of an unsettling build-up and gain recognition in a country where the men’s game reigns supreme.
Barely a week before the start, the International Cricket Council was forced to revise the schedule because of security concerns surrounding Pakistan’s participation in Mumbai where the entire tournament was to be played.
All group B matches, featuring Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, were shunted to the cricketing backwaters of Cuttack following threats from the right-wing nationalist Shiv Sena party to disrupt matches in Mumbai.
Pakistan will remain in Cuttack if they qualify for the second round, but will still have to travel to Mumbai if they make the final at the Braboure stadium on Feb. 17.
Indian captain Mithali Raj said she was disappointed that the Pakistani team had attracted protests.
“I personally feel that politics should not be involved in sport,” Raj told AFP.
“Sport is more about entertainment and a fun-loving atmosphere. So we should not be getting too many political issues into it.”
Preparations were also disrupted when the hosts made Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, venue of the men’s World Cup final in 2011, unavailable at the last minute.
Three grounds in Mumbai will host group A, involving defending champions England, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and hosts India.
The players have taken the disruption in their stride and are excited about the tournament, which was first played in 1973, two years before the men’s World Cup was inaugurated in 1975.
“I think it is safe to say that the women’s game today is unrecognizable from when I started in 1997,” said England’s captain Charlotte Edwards, set to appear in her fifth World Cup.
“We are attracting loads of young girls who want to play the game. We have changed people’s perceptions about women’s cricket a lot. Hopefully this tournament will be another step in hammering that message home.”
One of the players to watch in the 10th edition of the tournament will be England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor, who reports say could play alongside the men in Sussex county’s second XI this year.
India’s Raj, preparing for her fourth World Cup, hopes women’s cricket will finally take off in her country where some of her male counterparts are national icons.
“Indian society is still not forthcoming when it comes to women’s cricket,” Raj said.
“Parents are still more interested in putting their girls into more feminine sports like tennis or table-tennis.”
Australia go into the tournament as favorites to win their sixth title, following victory in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last October.
The Australian side includes Ellyze Perry, a pace bowler who also plays football for her country, the Indian-born Lisa Sthalekar, and Alyssa Healy, niece of former Australian men’s wicket-keeper Ian Healy.
Pakistan are more worried about adapting to the new one-day rules than about their security in Cuttack, where they are staying in the club house of the Barabati stadium for security reasons.
“We have not played under the new rules where five players have to be inside the circle at all times and the use of new balls from both ends,” captain Sana Mir said.
“We must get used to them before the tournament starts.”
Three teams from the two groups will advance to the Super Sixes round, from where the top two will qualify for the final.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif briefed the Cabinet on the talks held by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi of Yemen,...
JEDDAH: Private schools have been devising new ways to raise money from parents to circumvent the Education Ministry’s cap on fee increases, a local publication reported here recently.Schools now charge for services that do not require the ministry’s...
JEDDAH: Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Mohammed bin Naif has approved the general plan for implementation of Civil Defense works in emergency cases during the current Haj...
RIYADH: The government has shut down a cosmetics factory in Riyadh for using undisclosed raw materials and unhygienic process at its production facility.A team from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, during a routine inspection, found the plant u...
RIYADH: Recruitment offices here have decided to stop hiring Bangladeshi workers because they claim that a supply crunch has raised costs.Ibrahim Al-Megheimish, a recruitment expert, said that there are too few Bangladeshi workers seeking employment,...
RIYADH: As many as 200 students have enrolled into different courses at the Riyadh-based Saudi Aviation Flight Academy (SAFA) with 70 percent of them being Saudi nationals, said Saleem Bava, head of marketing and admission at SAFA.SAFA offers a mix o...

Stay Connected