Gender

BCCI is Male Chauvinistic, Can’t Accept Women’s Success, Says Ex-Captain Diana Edulji

“He hates women’s cricket,” Edulji said of former BCCI president N. Srinivasan.

Diana Edulji. Courtesy: Facebook

Diana Edulji. Courtesy: Facebook

New Delhi: Former Indian cricket team captain Diana Edulji has slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), calling it a “chauvinist organisation”. In January this year, Edulji was made member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators to overlook the BCCI’s affairs.

Speaking at ‘Express Adda’, an event organised by the Indian Express Group in Mumbai on Tuesday, Edulji said the recent success of the women’s cricket team was not “accepted too well” by certain members of the organisation. Sixty-one-year-old Edulji was joined at the event by Harmanpreet Kaur and Punam Raut, current members of the team who have both been widely praised for their performances at the recent World Cup.

“I’ve always been a BCCI basher, right from the day women’s cricket came into the BCCI fold in 2006. BCCI is a very male chauvinist organisation. They never wanted women to dictate terms or get into this thing. I was very vocal right from my playing days, from when I started,” she reportedly said. “Even now, I would still say that it is not yet well accepted within BCCI that women’s cricket is doing well. It is very difficult for them (some BCCI members) to accept the fact that this team has done very well.”

Edulji brought up a meeting she had with former BCCI president N. Srinivasan when he was first appointed in 2011 to prove her point. “When Mr Srinivasan became president, I would like to say that I went to congratulate him at the Wankhede Stadium. He said, ‘If I had my way, I wouldn’t let women’s cricket happen’. He hates women’s cricket,” she said.

While saying they were grateful for the reception they had received in India after the World Cup, Kaur and Raut also talked about the problems that still exist and the difficulties they faced.

“There’s so much passion for cricket within us that we don’t ever think about getting tanned or that hum kaale ho jaayenge. There were many people in our society and some of my mother’s friends who would keep saying, ‘Isse ladki ki tarah thoda rehne ke liye sikhao. Ladki ke kaam sikhao (Teach how to act like a girl, teach her work that girls should do)’ .They used to ask my mother to teach me to dress up like a girl. My mother would then scold me. I would complain to my father and then they would end up arguing,” Raut said at the event, according to the Indian Express.

“When I was young I would have to beg the girls to play with me so that we could form a team of 11 players. Eventually, I would have to gather girls who were good at other sports. Cricket has become their No.1 priority now. When I started, there wasn’t a single academy in Moga [in Punjab, where she grew up]. My coach started one just for me. Now, there are three exclusively for women,” Kaur added.