Changes were bound to take place once the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) came under the umbrella of the BCCI early this year.
On Tuesday, the BCCI asked WCAI president Ranee Narah and Shubhangi Kulkarni, the secretary, to resign from their posts and ‘concentrate’ primarily on the Women's Cricket Committee set up by the BCCI.
But if the two key members of the WCAI disassociate themselves from the WCAI, its future will be rendered very uncertain. Kulkarni and Narah have called for an emergency meeting of the WCAI in order to inform the other members about the developments and discuss the future of their association, and also decide whether WCAI will have to be disbanded.
“Yes, we have been asked to resign,” agreed Kulkarni. “The BCCI wants us to get completely involved with women's committee set by them. I'm glad that changes are taking place sooner rather than later.”
As things stand, the BCCI has made its intentions clear. The BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty told HT on Wednesday that the Board will have 'complete charge' of the activities in women's cricket. "We have asked Kulkarni and Narah to resign from their posts and devote themselves completely to the BCCI's Women's Committee," said Shetty.
Asked whether such a move would lead to the disbanding of the WCAI, Shetty said, “We have no control over them. But women's cricket in India will be run only by the BCCI.”
Kulkarni stated that the WCAI would no longer have a role to play with women's cricket in the country. “So in our meeting, we will discuss the latest developments with the other members of the WCAI and reach a decision regarding its future,” said Kulkarni.
The BCCI has set up a special wing in every state association which will take care of women's cricket from the grassroots level. The selection procedures will be changed drastically. “We have set up a women's wing in all our 27 units and an inter-zonal event will also take place,” said Shetty.
Kulkarni is pretty optimistic about these developments and said that the BCCI has the resources to uplift women's cricket. “BCCI has the infrastructure to make a differ, and I am happy with these changes,” Kulkarni said.
A moot question is who will constitute the BCCI women's committee if the WCAI dissolves. "Since special women's wings have been set up in all states, women will be in charge everywhere, and this will give them the opportunity to be on the BCCI committee," said Kulkarni.
In this transition period, there is an air of uncertainty regarding who will have the final say in the running of women's cricket, but for now, the WCAI is most likely to cease to exist.