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BCCI’s double standards exposed after India women’s team leaves in secrecy

While the BCCI is looking to exploit the high-stake men’s ICC events by pulling out of the Champions Trophy, it has no issues in sending the women’s team to the World Cup as there are no stakes involved and an India pullout would only hurt them eventually

cricket Updated: May 02, 2017 20:49 IST
Shalini Gupta
BCCI
The India women’s cricket team’s South Africa tour will be followed by the World Cup.(Getty images - file photo)

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering invoking the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) to pull out of Champions Trophy after the loss of vote at the International Cricket Council meeting last week, it seems to have no issues in sending the team to the Women’s World Cup, also an ICC event.

A 15-member India women’s team quietly left on Monday for the tour of South Africa to play in a quadrangular series beginning May 7 without any public announcement of the selected team members by the BCCI. The SA tour will be followed by the World Cup. The Indian board issued a stern gag order through lengthy emails, barring each one of the members from talking to media till the end of the Women’s World Cup that starts on June 24 in England.

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The decision hints at BCCI’s double standards and hypocrisy. While it is looking to exploit the high-stake men’s ICC events by pulling out of Champions Trophy, it has no issues in sending the women’s team to the world event as there are no stakes involved and an India pullout would eventually hurt them only. The women’s team hardly compares to men’s team in terms of popularity and sponsorship.

The South Africa quadrangular is seen as a run-up to the mega-event.

While it could not be ascertained as to why BCCI didn’t name the team, sources in the know say it is due to the ongoing tussle between BCCI and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.

It is also learnt that the fees for the last three series that Indian women’s team have played has not been cleared by the BCCI.

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The team, led by Mithali Raj, left for South Africa from Mumbai on Monday afternoon after attending a week-long camp without the customary media briefing. In the past BCCI has been quite prompt with the official announcements regarding teams. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ireland are the other teams in the quadrangular series. The India women’s team is slated to play a warm-up match against Zimbabwe on May 4 and take on Ireland in its first match on May 7 at Potchefstroom.

Recently, BCCI sacked Purnima Rau as women’s head coach and replaced her with Tushar Arothe, the former Baroda left-hand batsman who had worked with the India women’s team as chief coach between 2008 and 2012. With the World Cup just around the corner, the issues within the BCCI are surely spilling and are bound to affect the team’s morale.