Jemimah Rodrigues, Sophie Devine bat for innovations in women’s cricket

Rodrigues believes there is scope for trying out innovations such as shorter pitches, smaller balls and introduction of super-subs.
19-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues is keen to see certain changes tried out in women’s cricket.(Instagram)
19-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues is keen to see certain changes tried out in women’s cricket.(Instagram)
Updated on Jun 10, 2020 08:13 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Aditya Bhattacharya

India’s Jemimah Rodrigues has called for women’s cricket to follow men’s cricket in terms of innovations and trying out new things to generate more interest in the game. Rodrigues, who has played 16 WODIs and 44 T20Is for India women, admits that even though women’s cricket cannot go all out in terms if implying changes like their male counterparts, there is scope available for innovations such as shorter pitches, smaller balls and introduction of super-subs.

“To be very honest, I would go with, you know, like let’s not compare it (men’s and women’s cricket) that much. Because, you know, at the end, you have got to accept the fact that there are slight differences between the two,” Rodrigues said during a 100% Innovations session conducted by former Australia cricketer turned commentator Mel Jones in the presence of New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine.

“But, yeah, I mean, we can also be open to (a shorter pitch), try it out. If that is going to help the game improve and take it to the next level, then why not? You know, kind of get a thought to it, think about it, because at the end of it, we want to promote the game.

“We want to get more people to watch the game and more people to even join the game. So, yeah, I think it is a good idea. I think, you know, you can be open to it.”

Echoing Rodrigues’ thoughts, Devine explained how it is important to keep trying out little things every now and then – almost like a hit and trial method – as the New Zealand skipper believes sticking to the same rules has the potential to make women’s cricket stagnant, which in turn, will lead to fewer women taking up the sport, endangering the very future of women’s cricket.

“I think if we are stuck with traditional formats, we’d be missing out on a lot of new players, new kids, new athletes to the game. So, I think it’s really an exciting idea to say that we might be able to encourage people along that make it tailored towards the female side of things,” Devine said.

“It’s always good to have a little trial and error and see what works. I’m probably a big fan of looking at a smaller ball, but keeping the pitch the same size, where I think pacers are going to be able to bowl quicker, spinners are going be able to turn the ball more. Hopefully, the ball should fly a bit further as well whereas still keeping the traditional length of the pitch.”

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