Former Board of Control for Cricket In India’s (BCCI) Committee of Administration chairperson, Vinod Rai has said that India Men’s teams’ kits were used to cut and re-stitched for the Women’s team. Rai has worked with the BCCI from January 2017 to late 2019 as he was appointed by the Supreme Court of India. He was later replaced by the current president and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Meanwhile, in an interview, the 73-year-old revealed that Women’s cricket wasn’t given too much attention before the former president, Sharad Pawar joined the board as president in 2006. The former added that he was aghast to know that Men’s kits were cut up and re-stitched for the women’s team. He further added that he had to call the manufacturer and asked them to stitch separate uniforms for the women’s team.
The former IAS officer also said that the women’s team deserved much better training facilities, coaching facilities, cricketing gears, and in other important aspects such as traveling, match fees, and retainers.
“I do not think women’s cricket has been given the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, women cricketers had not been taken seriously till about 2006, when Mr [Sharad] Pawar took the initiative to merge the men’s and women’s association. I was aghast to know that men’s uniforms were being cut up and re-stitched for women’s players. I had to ring up Nike and tell them that this was not on and that their design would be different.
“I sincerely believe the girls deserved much better [when it came to] training, coaching facilities, cricketing gear, travel facilities and, finally, match fees and retainers. That was lacking and we tried to rectify it,” Rai said in an interview with The Week.
He also stated that he regretted not giving enough attention to women’s cricket before the 2017 World Cup semifinal match between India and Australia. In that game, Harmanpreet Kaur hit an unbeaten 171 to win the game for the team.
“My regret was that I had not given due attention to women’s cricket till the match in which Harmanpreet [Kaur] scored 171* in the 2017 Women’s World Cup [against Australia]. She told me: â€œSir, I was cramping so I had to hit sixes as I could not run much!â€ They were told at the hotel that they could not get the food they were supposed to, so they had samosas for breakfast that morning!,” Mr Rai added.