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Club culture comes to women’s cricket courtesy the MCA

Women’s cricket in Mumbai will have a new tournament beginning March 2016.

A 40-over tournament featuring eight sides is to be introduced by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

PV Shetty, joint secretary of Mumbai Cricket Association, said:

“There are not many tournaments for women. And, we have just one inter-school tournament. To give importance to women’s cricket and encourage it, we are going to get them involved in club culture. Our president Sharad Pawar backs women’s cricket big time. Even the new BCCI president Shashank Manohar is a keen promoter of women’s cricket.”

The Cricket Improvement Committee suggested the initiative which was then immediately ratified by the Managing Committee.

Shetty added:

“We have a slot in March, hence that could be the time we might host it. We have decided the eight teams. We have chosen teams that promote the game big time in the city like Sainath CC, Payyade SC, DY Patil CC, Shivaji Park Gymkhana, Karnataka Sporting Association and Sind CC besides others. We will see that all the areas of Mumbai is covered.

We will first see how it goes. There are around 200-250 women who play serious cricket. If there are more players taking interest, we will definitely increase the number of teams.”

There are not many woman cricketers because there is no job prospect. Railways is the only organisation that offers jobs. Parents don’t let them play if there is no job. We would also like to create job opportunities for them by talking to corporates and introducing inter-office tournament.”

Kalpana Murkar, legendary Dronacharya award-winning coach Ramakant Achrekar’s daughter, said:

“This will be a good opportunity for youngsters. At the junior level, there is an inter-school tournament which is yet to be held this season. Even the inter-college tournament is yet to take place. We used to have a club tournament under Bombay Women’s Cricket Association when women’s cricket was not merged with BCCI. However, this opportunity will be fantastic.”

The tourney will be a shot in the arm for women’s cricket in the city.

This year, the first-ever All India women’s inter-university cricket tournament  almost did not take place with three of eight venues refusing to host the matches.

Parsee Gymkhana, Islam Gymkhana and PJ Hindu Gymkhana were the truant clubs.

Islam Gymkhana manager Hanif Shaikh said :

“On November 18, we received the letter from MCA informing us about the tournament and within three days we wrote back to them about our inability to host matches. As it is the wedding season, the ground is occupied on all dates and hence unavailable for the tournament.”

PJ Hindu Gymkhana’s cricket secretary Maulik Merchant said:

“The Police Shield and Purshottam Shield matches are being conducted at our ground so there is no slot available for this women’s tournament.”

The tournament did take place finally with fresh venues selected.

Indian Airlines Sports Club ground (Kalina), Vengsarkar Academy ground (Churchgate), Shivaji Park Gymkhana and Bengal Club (Shivaji Park, Dadar), National Cricket Club and Karnataka Sporting Association ground (Cross Maidan), Khalsa College (Matunga) grounds hosted the matches.

The 34-team-tournament was organised by Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce along with Mumbai University, under the aegis of MCA.

A Mid-Day editorial stated:

“This is a happy ending to a disappointingly familiar story. So many times, local sports – women’s sports in particular – are hard put to find venues. Local sports take a backseat at times, because our city maidans and gymkhanas are eyeing the big bucks that events and weddings bring. The sporting season in the city often runs parallel to the wedding season. The festive season too, often clashes with the sports season that is in full swing at the end of the year, thanks to relatively cooler temperatures.

Meanwhile, the women’s game gets short shrift on several fronts. One knows the huge gap in rewards when it comes to international cricket. But local women’s cricket too plays second fiddle to boys’ tourneys. The number of tournaments for girls are much fewer compared to boys, and there are relatively fewer venues too, which host the women’s game.

A paucity of grounds, lack of facilities like changing rooms, showers and toilets at several grounds actually make several girls drop out of local sport altogether. Every effort is needed to push women’s cricket, and for that, there is a need to start at the school level and give the same opportunities at university level as well. It is heartening to know that after initial hiccups, the first ever inter-university women’s cricket tourney is set to take off, after all. Women’s cricket, and sports in general, needs all the support it can get. “

Rahul Sawant’s on-field heart attack forces MCA to re-evaluate medical facilities

When a sportsman suffers a grievous, deadly injury on the field like Philip Hughes who was felled by a Sean Abbott bouncer or Raman Lamba who was struck on the skull by a powerful shot, we are always shocked and debate whether the sport can be made more safe for the players. All kinds of methods and inventions are discussed and remedies are provided. Hughes’ untimely death, unseemly as it was, has forced helmet manufacturers to provide newer versions of their products that now cover the back of the neck hopefully preventing a recurrence of such an event.

Raman Lamba

Raman Lamba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front)

Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But when more and more players are felled by disease on the field (and myocardial infarction is simply a symptom of coronary heart and artery diseases), it is time to look at the reason behind its occurrence and question the immediate reaction that exercise itself is unsafe for individuals.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

An outsized reaction to medical tragedies on the field is unwarranted and unbecoming of informed, educated persons.

Rahul Sawant, a 34-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman with Dahisar Cricket Club suffered a heart attack on Sunday while playing in the Dr HD Kanga League.

He was rushed to Bombay hospital by his teammates which saved his life.

Speaking to DNA, his skipper Pravin Gogri said:

“He was also feeling suffocated and could not bare the pain. We gave him water, but it didn’t help. We could not find the doctors provided by the Mumbai Cricket Association. Then we rushed him to Bombay Hospital.The Kanga League (rule) book says there are doctors at various grounds, but we could not find one at Azad Maidan. God knows what would have happened had we reached (the hospital) late.”

Gogri’s teammate added:

“He doesn’t smoke or drink. He is a nice man and a good cricketer. Life is full of stress these days. Today’s youngsters lead an unhealthy life. They sleep late and have loads of stress. We have now started going back to playing Kanga League on wet wickets. This could cause injuries. The MCA should be prepared if something like this happens.

Sawant has spent Rs 40,000 already. Let’s hope he is out of danger. He is the only son of his parents. You never know what can happen. I am sure MCA can afford ambulances for emergency situations.”

The matter will be taken up by the MCA in the next managing committee meeting with a promise to provide the desired medical facilities for all players.

MCA Joint Secretary, Unmesh Khanvilkar, said:

“This is a rare case. Normally, injuries like cuts, bruises or sprains happen while playing cricket. Hence we have appointed physios and provided first aids at various points of the grounds. But this is something which is serious and we will have to look into it.

We have to come out with a solution to make facilities that could deal with something like this. Other than the physios who are already there, we will try to arrange doctors who can deal with these issues. Also, we will try to arrange ambulances at each centre including gymkhanas so they can be used during emergencies.”

Sawant, meanwhile, will undergo angioplasty to remove a couple of blockages in his heart.

English: CPR training

CPR training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The move by the MCA is welcome. Sportsmen definitely need doctors around to tend to them should they suddenly succumb to ailments on the field. Immediate medical attention, especially in the case of heart attacks and treatment such as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can make the difference between life and death.

But that is not the end of it.

Players , too , need to monitor themselves and their bodies and not overexert themselves after a tiring week at work or play.

More on that later….

Dilip Vengsarkar: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

What he said:

“I feel it is unethical to be a part of any committee of MCA.”

Dilip Vengsarkar feels he has no place in the Mumbai Cricket Association’s scheme of things after being rejected by its members in its recently concluded elections. The former chief national selector refused chairmanship of  MCA’s Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC).

What he really meant:

“I’m a proud man. I refuse to legitimise the CIC. ”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Can we have a recall (election), please?”

Farooq Abdullah: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

What he said:

“Politicians have keys to open doors which others do not have.”

Dr. Farooq Abdullah is sanguine about the role of politicians in sports administration.Abdullah has headed the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) over 30 years. He was quoted responding to media queries following Dilip Vengsarkar’s loss in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections.

What he really meant:

“Yeh hai India, meri jaan, where politicians feel it’s their birthright to have their fingers in every pie.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Dilip would make a wonderful chief minister.”

Dilip Vengsarkar: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

This graph details the Test Match performance ...

What he said:

“I have always played with a straight bat and never played a reverse sweep. It is shameful that I have been targeted.”

Dilip Vengsarkar is disappointed that he has been targeted by the Vilasrao Deshmukh faction in the run-up to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections. The former Indian captain is gunning for the post of President.

What he really meant:

“In our time, the reverse sweep was a high risk shot. Now, it’s almost pedestrian compared to the switch hit.”

“Politicians try all kinds of shots. You see, they’ve never played the game.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“This is a sticky wicket. A vicious turn of events.”

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