When the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) was running the show, off-season camps for youngsters during summer months was the norm. But ever since the Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken over the reins not a single camp has been conducted this summer by the Board’s state associations in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kanpur.
According to WCAI executive member, Hardeep Dua, the BCCI had sent letters to all the women’s wings asking them to conduct coaching camps in May. But so far, only two state associations — Mumbai Cricket Association and the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (Indore) — have successfully conducted the camps.
Dua points to the fact that despite the Board’s directive to hold the camps, the state associations are not showing interest. “After taking their exams in March-April, the girls used to come and attend camps. But now, despite BCCI’s directions, the camps are not taking place.”
Meanwhile, the convenor of the BCCI women’s cricket committee, Shubhangi Kulkarni, agreed that letters had been sent to all the women’s wings and a month-long camp in Mumbai was held, but she seemed clueless as to whether the camps were also happening in other states. “I have heard about camps being conducted in Mumbai and Indore. I’m sure they must be taking place in other states too,” said Kulkarni.
Mumbai coach Anjali Pendharkar said the MCA had come out with an advertisement some time back after which 50 to 60 girls showed up. “The camp is almost over. We played a few matches too,” said Pendharkar.
On the contrary, Shanta Rangaswamy, former player and member of the women’s committee in Karnataka, sounded despondent. “Nothing has been initiated so far by the KCAI (Karnataka Cricket Association of India). The camps should have started in Bangalore by now… it all depends on the BCCI. It is going to be raining soon, so we don’t know when the camp will take place.”
The DDCA had a similar story. “We were supposed to hold the camp this month but are not too sure what is going on,” said DDCA joint secretary, S.S. Sareen. Meanwhile, member of the UP Cricket Association, Archana Mishra said the camp could not be held in Agra due to lack of proper facilities and the Kanpur Cricket Association was ruled out because of construction activity at the UPCA ground. “Discussions are on and the camp is expected to start sometime soon at the UPCA facility,” said Mishra.