Recently, Waqar Younis came under a lot of criticism for suggesting that women’s ODI matches be reduced to 30 overs. Australia’s Jess Jonassen, an all-rounder panned the comments as offensive. “What’s T20 cricket for, then? It’s quite interesting that he said that the day after our match against Sri Lanka, which was one of the highest scoring games of the World Cup so far, with 500-odd runs scored and two of the best innings of the women’s game ever. Maybe it’s a bit misguided. We’ll just leave it at that,” she was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
— waqar younis (@waqyounis99) June 29, 2017
Already, women’s Test matches are held over four days instead of the five days taken in Test matches played by men. Younis suggesting that the 50-over game should be reduced was certainly in bad taste. It’s not like women aren’t fit enough to play 50 overs – in fact, they usually finish their overs in lesser time as compared to men.
Yes, of course, there is a gulf in quality of the cricket played. It’s apparent when you watch a women’s cricket game that the players can’t hit the ball just as hard, field just as sharp or run just as fast between the wickets.
Probably, the biggest marker of the huge gulf that exists would be to see the fastest ball being bowled. In Women’s Cricket, the record is held by Cathryn Fitzpatrick from Australia, who bowled a delivery at 125 km/h. Compare this to the 161.3 km/h delivery bowled by Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, and you will know the gulf.
But, the gulf doesn’t end there. In women’s cricket, you might see a few India matches being telecast for Indian viewers, or something like the World Cup being broadcast. You will certainly not see an Australia vs England match (even if it is the Women’s Ashes) on your TV.
There’s also a huge gap as far as prize money is concerned. This is not the case in Tennis Grand Slams, where winners of both male and female champions (singles) take home the same amount. In this year’s Women’s World Cup – the winner will take home 2 million dollars, which is ten times more than the prize money for the 2013 Women’s World Cup (just 200,000 dollars).
In men’s cricket, the prize money for winning the World Cup in 2015 was $3,975,000. The jump is justified considering men’s cricket World Cup has a lot more sponsors and viewers.
But that doesn’t mean, women’s cricket should be disrespected. Everyone is allowed to play their game, and with added viewership and interest – we will see more young girls wanting to play the game professionally, which in turn, will increase the quality of cricket.