Behind every revolution, there rests a cause. There happens to be a purpose. There is a call to action that spurs people together to stand up for something.
Then, it doesn’t matter whether the people who kickstarted the revolution are remembered or not.
The purpose must be served. The cause must be achieved.
Humanity remembers hundreds or thousands of revolutions.
Probably, among the most unsung is the one that featured Guy Fawkes.
Do you know why?
For today, almost anyone and everyone- whether a click-bait content fan or a long-form purist- love Anonymous and the activism work they do. But few know the name of the man whose face has become idolised and presented the revolution Anonymous are about.
But Guy Fawkes who stood up in the fight against King James I of England and VI of Scotland went down the path of death for it.
There was a cultural revolution in the form of the Renaissance in France. Art exploded as it had never exploded before; cultural ties increasingly made art, poetry, heck, even writing letters a part of increasing ties between European nations.
Today, you cannot even count the number of books on the Renaissance or the people who swear by Guy Fawkes. These martyred causes provoked a reaction among people that brought them together.
In a similar vein, Cricket needs a revolution.
It’s about time it got one. It needn’t be sugar-coated in fancy expressions. It needn’t rest on the case of Feminism.
Cricket needs a revolution that simply cuts down to tiny little shreds the divisive lines that discriminate between the Men’s Game and the Women’s Game.
Why aren’t we showing the “Women’s Game” live on TV? You clearly must be the most ill-informed fan if you think the only live action that there is, happens to be in the form of the ‘so-called’ rivalry that’s on right now: India versus Pakistan.
Sadly, this has come down to a quiz-show format of sorts to remind viewers of the following.
Do you, for instance, know that there are 4 international women’s teams engaged in high-octane live action at this point in time but none of it is being broadcasted anywhere live on TV?
In the Caribbean, that part of the world where Bob Marley died singing and raising meaningful rabble- Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up For Your Rights- at this point in time, Mignon Du Preez and Dane Van Niekerk are engaged in a rebuilding effort to rescue the Proteas against a Windies that seem to have woken up by their shock maiden game loss.
In another part of the world, with Mithali and Chamari having made smashing tons in the same outing in an ODI, see their sides contesting in an important T20 series. Bad news for patriotic Indians who believe in raising the tri-colour at every given occasion, they’ve been bereft of the opportunity of seeing the Indian flag fluttering prettily in Sri Lankan skies.
None of us were given the opportunity to see the T20 between India and Sri Lanka.
There you go.
Right on your face.
By turning a blind eye on the broadcast of Women’s game, we are eschewing deliberately a faction of Cricket that’s scored the biggest record in ODI history. It were the Women’s team- White Ferns- that clocked 490 on the board and not any of the men’s team.
We prevail in an age where copious literature is available on anyone and everyone; whether Rani of Jhansi or the Joan of Arc, where gender equality finds itself as a buzzword on decorated, templatized corporate powerpoints and where Feminism is more of a jingo but where Women’s game is languishing in isolation where it comes to being broadcasted live.
And here’s something rather not so unique but true. There’s nothing that Women cricketers haven’t done that the men have. Jhulan’s just taken her 300th international scalp. Only a few months back did Ellyse Perry strike the first double hundred in an Ashes Test, featuring the pink ball. Meg Lanning is already inspiring a generation with her penchant for striking hundreds; 11 already in ODIs.
A couple of years back, Windies Women stopped hearts when they eloped with a grand win at the World T20, before going on to inspiring the world. Men loved them, boys wanted to bat like them; the girls were gung-ho.
Smriti Mandhana kicked up a big storm in England recently. Mithali continues to be a figure of poise. She even ‘Rumi-fied’ naysayers of the Women’s game. Niekerk is fast becoming the world’s best leg spinner in the business.
Mignon, with her smile and perseverance, is rallying behind new South African cricketers as expected of this gentle giant of the game.
Jeannette Garces is inspiring Chilean Women to express themselves on the 22 yards.
Sana Mir is an icon already, Bismah Maroof is taking Pakistan to new heights.
There’s nothing that Women aren’t achieving in the game. So why not show us Women’s cricket?
That’s the truth.
Accept it with a pinch of salt- but you were denied the opportunity to see Smriti score a fifty, Mithali doing what she does best; scoring consistently, Indian spinners bouncing back, and Sri Lanka clawing back in the 3rd ODI with both teams being hailed equally.
Show us Women’s Cricket.
This shouldn’t have been the rabble-rousing effort that it is now coming into being. But the authorities have left us with no choice.
Just imagine what’s at stake.
Is there a single team today that doesn’t have a star, a star in making, an existing legend, and above all, inspirational women cricketers?
Wish in an age that goes extempore in its very profusely passionate support of big-words like equality where one endlessly roots for causes like “equal pay for women”- equal televised opportunities for the Women’s Game too.
But what do we have? We are trying to align ourselves on social media to unite everyone who cares about Cricket- as a whole; as a complete entity- through ‘keywords’ like show us women’s cricket.
In a lighter vein, it’s our moment of getting around to do a Guy Fawkes. And luckily, no one will be martyred in this. The only thing is, it would be lovely to have a revolution win.
Here are some thoughts on the phrase itself.
Women’s Cricket is a complex term.
But actually, it didn’t have to be that way.
In fact, it never should’ve been “Women’s Cricket.”
It should’ve been part of the same pure, warmth-giving, shade of permanent pleasure that cricket gives us all. No discriminations were needed. Not one.
When you take your sister or girlfriend to a cricket stadium, do you sit in a men’s row and put her in a “Women’s only” row?
How ridiculous would that be?
When you back a Steve Smith in Sydney do you or your boyfriend sit on separate couches there being miles between you two?
Do you stop your sister who jumps in joy each time she remembers Amy Satterthwaite’s sensational six for Melbourne Renegades in 2017?
Where’s this disparity coming from? Why’s this happening to Cricket?
Think of it. The world of cricket might have been a simpler place had both genders been represented equally. Why are the Proteas Fire currently pitted against West Indian Calypso not being shown live seems a mystery stranger than the Bermuda Triangle’s?
If the worry is sponsorships or ad revenues, then who is going to fix it and what’s the way ahead?
We aren’t media planners. But we are sure those who are entrusted with the task of promoting the Women’s game are qualified to do so.
So what is their plan ahead?
Having said that what are fans supposed to do at this time? Increase the popularity of those Apps they feel thankful for, for updating them of the Women’s game updates?
Should one feel sarcastic in thanking the benevolent ICC for at least broadcasting the Women’s World Cup 2017? Show us Women’s cricket and prove us that cricket is ultimately that banyan tree under whose shade both men and women can sit together, in peace and pose a happy smile.
If Cricket’s spirit is incorruptible and non-divisive- the sport doesn’t show a disclaimer: not for women- then why can’t those whose job is to show the game, not doing so?
Why then have so many fantastic teams of Women cricketers mushrooming around the world? Given the lack of broadcast of live games, does it mean we will hardly get to see cricket thriving in communities such as Chile, where the Women’s team, sitting in a different part of the world is about as passionate as is Germany?
When will more bi-lateral series feature divergent teams with each of them finding televised representation? Wish, I knew the answers to these just queries.
Wish cricket sees the success of this revolution that beckons all fans to come together. Not all causes are often worth uniting for.
This one is.
Show us Women’s Cricket!