India pacer Shikha Pandey (file image)
India pacer Shikha Pandey (file image)

Growth can be achieved by marketing women's cricket rather than changing rules: Pacer Shikha Pandey

ANI | Updated: Jun 28, 2020 12:23 IST

New Delhi [India], June 28 (ANI): India pacer Shikha Pandey has said that rather than changing the rules to aid the women's game, the product needs to be marketed well to ensure growth and fan following.
Her remark comes in the wake of suggestions by several cricketers using a smaller ball or shorter pitch to attract more viewers towards the women's game.
Pandey posted a series of tweets, in which she made her point clear as to why there is no need to change the rules for the women's game.
"An Olympic 100m female sprinter doesn't run 80m to win and clock the same timing as her male counterpart. So the whole 'decreasing the length of the pitch' for whatever reasons seems dubious. Also, it almost definitely takes the doubleheaders out of question," Shikha said in a tweet.
"Reducing the size of the ball is fine, but as Ian Smith suggested, it only works if the weight remains the same. This will allow for bowlers to grip the ball better - more revs for the spinners - and hits will also travel further (not be the case if it is light)," she said in another tweet.

The 30-year-old pacer also said there is no need to bring in the boundaries for the women's sport as the cricketers are equipped to dispatch the ball for boundaries.
"Growth can also be achieved by marketing the sport well. We don't have to tinker with rules or the very fabric of the game to attract an audience," Pandey tweeted.

Earlier this year, India contested the finals of the Women's T20 World Cup against Australia.
The match witnessed a turnout of 86,174 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine had suggested that a smaller ball can be tried in women's cricket to make it easier for the batters to hit big shots and produce more entertaining play.
Devine, who was the top run-getter for New Zealand at this year's ICC Women's T20 World Cup, was in support of experimenting and felt the introduction of a smaller ball could change the dynamics of the women's game.
"I think if we are stuck with traditional formats, we'd be missing out on a lot of new players, new kids and new athletes to the game. So, I think it is 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," ICC's official website quoted Devine as saying.
"It's always good to have a little trial and error and see what works. I am 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," she said.
India's Jemimah Rodrigues had another idea in order to make women's cricket more entertaining as she suggested introducing a shorter pitch for the women's game.
"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," Rodrigues said.
50-over Women's World Cup is slated to be played in New Zealand next year, so it would be interesting to see whether these suggestions are used by the ICC. (ANI)