Kolkata: Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his excitement for the ICC Women’s World Cup slated to be held this year and also says that the competition will play a crucial role in increasing the global popularity of cricket. He is especially happy at the fact that Thailand would try to be a part of the mega-cricketing event. The former Indian batting maestro, while in a column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) writes, “The inclusion of Thailand in World Cup cricket may be a surprise for some of you but it is a reality! Thailand will be bidding to feature in this year’s ICC Women’s World Cup when it will play in the Qualifiers in Colombo next week.”
He adds, “Subsequently, the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in the United Kingdom in June-July will see top notch cricket being played by some of the finest and exemplary women cricketers from across the world.”
Tendulkar is all for the idea that the development of women’s cricket is actually something that spurs gender equality and human rights. Tendulkar feels, “The women cricketers have caught the fancy of cricket aficionados around the world with stellar performances and have increased their audience. They have spawned interest in young girls to play the sport and also helping generate a larger following for the game at a time when the game is seeking to expand its footprint globally and become relevant in non-cricket playing countries.”
And he adds, “While gender bias has been the bane of many aspects of the world, the sports narrative seems to be different. It is heartening to see that cricket is making strides in helping women occupy their pride of place in the annals of cricketing history.”
The icon has his hopes in star batsman Mithali Raj and all-rounder Jhulan Goswami to do their best to make this tournament a memorable one for India. He says, “There is our very own Jhulan Goswami, who is quick and gets that extra bit from the wicket and Mithali Raj, our seasoned campaigner from India.” Talents like Bismah Maroof, Sana Mir (both Pakistan), Mignon du Preez, Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp (South Africa) are also exciting for the game and have their own following,” he opines.
The legend has also wished luck to all the teams. “I wish all the teams the very best for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers and would urge all of you to wholeheartedly support women’s cricket, for the sake of cricket,” he signs off.
(With inputs from PTI)