INDIA stormed the cricketing world by launching the T20 IPL in 2008. What was an experiment of sorts became a success story. In January this year, India scripted history by winning the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.
I witnessed the launch of the Women’s Premier League in Mumbai last week. What has been a boy’s game, in every gali, mohalla, nukkad etc. of India, has been taken by storm by the fairer sex. And what a launch!
Girl power was evident right from the entry gate. The security was being ‘womanned’ (not manned) by energetic young girls. They looked elated as they welcomed and wrist-banded us at the South Pavilion lounge of the stadium. Girls in colourful dresses graced the pitch for the inaugural ceremony. Kiara Advani gave a scintillating performance, followed by Kriti Sanon. A stream of girls escorted singer AP Dhillon. It is one thing to say that girls should get their due share, but quite another to make it real.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah, along with his wife and daughter, beamed with pride as his dream project kickstarted with fireworks display, cheering, dancing and loads of excitement.
In the first match, Mumbai Indians ruled the pitch, with Punjab’s Harmanpreet Kaur leading from the front with an impressive knock of 65 runs off 30 balls. Her team defeated Gujarat Giants by a huge margin.
I may not understand cricket too much, but am impressed by the grit to create this gigantic platform for young women aspirants to showcase their skills and passion for the game. Not only that, this would bring opportunities for women coaches, selectors, physiotherapists, managers, yoga instructors, dieticians, to name a few.
The commitment to pull off an endeavour of this stature is no mean feat. In an era where AI is replacing humans in more ways than one, and we fear a dearth of job opportunities, here is something that is creating jobs galore and providing entertainment for many more.
Sports gives a direction to the energy and passion of many young adults. Everyone may not become a cricketer but there are many who would find a livelihood in this new world.
As these thoughts reeled through my head, Harmanpreet hit yet another four; the band played the WPL anthem, ‘Yeh toh bas shuruaat hai!’ and the crowd went into a frenzy. What a gift to young eves ahead of International Women’s Day!
Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, ‘Life is a game, Play it. Life is a dream, Realise it!’ And why not? Way to go, girls! Looking forward to many more!
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