50 years of women’s cricket in India – It will be a memorable Golden Jubilee: BCCI Chief Roger Binny
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50 years of women’s cricket in India – It will be a memorable Golden Jubilee: BCCI Chief Roger Binny

April 6, 2023

By B. Sreekantswamy

Mention 1983 World Cup, avid cricket lovers will pat recall the names of the squad members at the drop of a hat. Roger Binny, the right-arm fast medium pace bowler who scalped the highest 18 wickets, is undeniably one among those names.

Now aged 67, Binny holds the reins of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as its 36th President. Before that, Binny had served as the President of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) from 1999 to 2022.

It was during his tenure, KSCA’s long-pending plan to build a world-class international cricket stadium at Hanchya-Sathagalli in the outskirts of Mysuru, got a much-needed pace, with the State Government recently giving its consent directing Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) to allot the land. MUDA has also decided to allot 20 acres of land at Hanchya-Sathagalli ‘B’ Zone to build the stadium.

Binny still has the cricket left in him, as he hit a few balls in his usual all-rounder style, formally inaugurating All India Inter-University Cricket Tournament for Women 2022-23, at JSS-KSCA Grounds at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) campus in the city last evening.

For the budding women cricketers especially, it was the moment to draw some inspiration from the ‘tall figure’ of Indian cricket, and flocked him with uber enthusiasm to get his (Binny) autograph, never mind, it was on the ‘blue cap’, to treasure the moment for years to come. Amid this fan frenzy, Binny spared a few minutes for a ‘short spell of interview’ with Star of Mysore. Excerpts:

Star of Mysore (SOM): 2023 marks the 50th year (Golden Jubilee) of Women’s Cricket in India (with the founding of Women’s Cricket Association of India in 1973). Has BCCI got any plans to commemorate the occasion?

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Roger Binny: We at BCCI have been mulling over celebrating 50 years of women’s cricket in India. We also met some of those early women players in Mumbai, who were a part of the cricket then. Shubhangi Kulkarni, who currently represents the players side in BCCI, is also one among them. (Shubhangi made her international debut in India women’s cricket team’s first women’s cricket series against West Indies women’s cricket team in 1976).

Star of Mysore (SOM): But are there any specific plans to make the Golden Jubilee year of women’s cricket memorable?

Roger Binny: It is a milestone moment indeed and we are planning something. With the World Cup also scheduled from Oct. 5 to Nov. 19, 2023, we will plan the celebrations.

SOM: Soon after taking over as BCCI President in October 2022, you announced pay parity bringing the match fees for women cricketers on par with men. But women cricketers will be largely benefited only if they play more?

Roger Binny: That’s what we are also looking at and the recently hosted Women’s Premier League (WPL) is one such initiative. In the future, you will get to see more matches and tournaments exclusively for women cricketers.

SOM: Like foreign countries, has the BCCI got plans to set up an exclusive museum to trace the evolution of women’s cricket in India?

Roger Binny: Several State Cricket Associations already have museums, like Karnataka State Cricket Association, Gujarat Cricket Association (Narendra Modi Stadium at Motera, Ahmedabad in Gujarat) and Punjab Cricket Association. The women’s cricket is also a part of these museums.

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