December 27, 2013
A few days back, one of my colleagues was discussing about the 2nd ODI in Durban where South Africa sealed the series by winning 2-0 against India. I suddenly said to him that maybe Dhoni should rethink about his selection of certain players. I expected a counter argument on this statement of mine. But it looked as if he was stumped for a moment and then asked me, “You follow cricket? But you are girl!” I was taken aback this time. I told him I follow cricket since I was a kid. Even though we discussed about the match for a few minutes, I could feel that he was still shocked that I knew so much about cricket.
Almost a month before, when Sachin retired, I had updated my status in Facebook thanking him for his contributions in the field of cricket. This first comment I got was from a guy who asked me whether I watch cricket. Even though retorted back saying I do, still it confuses me why guys are this surprised when they find a girl who follows cricket.
“You watch cricket? But you are a girl!!!” This is the most common thing I hear from people when I start talking about cricket.
Born into a family where most of the cousins are guys and a younger brother who religiously follows cricket, the first game I learnt how to play was cricket. During the summer holidays that I spent as kid in Kerala, my cousins, right from the elder one to youngest, had took up the responsibility to teach me the game. Even though none of them wanted me in their team, because my bowling skills were very poor that it gives the batsman the chances to hit sixes and fours in succession, the elder ones would always be ready to accept me. My skills as a batsman was also so poor that I was given two chances to get out. But then I learnt the game to such an extent that after a couple of years, the captains of the team would fight to have me in their team (very proud feeling you know).
I have been watching the game ever since I was a kid. The world cup series, the Champions trophy, the various ODI and Test match series that India plays and the latest version of the game, the IPL, I watch them all. I have seen many other girls too, who follow cricket. I know girls who visit Espncricinfo and read Harsha Bhogle’s blogs for latest updates in the cricketing world. India also has a woman cricket team which plays world cup matches and tours to the other cricket playing nations. A girl’s world doesn’t only revolve around makeup kits, romantic DDLJ type movies or never-ending tele-serials. They are also interested in cricket, sports, politics and other currents events. Even in the post-match discussion shows that the channels telecasts, you got women discussing about the match.
So to the attention of the guys, next time when a girl says; “I think Ishant Sharma is back to form. He took four wickets in the first innings of the first test match against South Africa. That’s great.” Don’t ask her back,” You watch cricket? But you are a girl!!!” Maybe you can say,”Yeah!!! But I think he needs a haircut. He could bowl much better if he is able to see where he pitches the ball.”