For multicultural women’s cricket, the future might be now, believes Saru Rana
In 2020, when during the T20 World Cup teams—both men and women—will be playing T20 internationals, it would have been interesting to know which match will draw more eyeballs on television.
In South Australia, Saru Rana is determined to make a change with gender representation, increasing girls and women’s number in cricket program, in order to bridge the gender gap in sports. Stating multicultural women’s current participation as “fledgling experience”, explaining it to a personally constructed team structure in existence being generally amateur, Saru looks for long-term career viability for women sports.
It is vital to share that women’s cricket is largely seen as an amateur sport within many multicultural communities. The history of the women’s game in India, as a book, The Fire Burns Blue, had all turn their attention to a subject that was overlooked for years.
Long before the T20 World Cup 2020, Saru expects CALD women’s cricket participation to be reality, and is seeing ‘Super Cricket’ from South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) as a step towards a dream come true. She believes, as girls and women’s engagement progress, public interest will increase, sponsors will show greater awareness, and a few years’ growth will be compressed into a few weeks.
While communities are putting plans in place to elevate women’s cricket further over the next few years. Saru aspires, ‘It will be great for the women’s game to have its moment and be celebrated for something much more than just a ‘women’s version’ of the sport’. She adds, of course the women’s game is less hamstrung by traditions, but you have to admire their spirit. Most of the successful female sportspersons have battled their way through the boys/men’s circuit until a proper pathway was established.
Although gender equality has come a long way, what it still boils down to is that we, collectively, women and men, need to do more about gender representation in sports. We need to pave the way for our daughters, just as we do our sons. There should be no disparity in sports, nor in the workplace, nor in life and ‘gender’ should not be the thing that defines us or separates us from our fellow sportspersons.
Women’s representation in sports have been stuck in a boom-and-bust cycle for the past 20 years. With SACA introducing and encouraging cricket programs, Saru gives all the credit to Matt Lucas, Diversity and inclusion Leader SACA; Jordan Capel, Competitions Administration Officer Metropolitan SACA; Oliver Graham, Club Officer North East SACA and Jack Campion, Junior Participation Leader SACA for fostering sustainable opportunities and development through sports all year round the year for multicultural communities. The gentlemen are committed to providing the best coaching programs and playing opportunities for all ages and skills level in Adelaide.
From the time Saru and SACA reps have started back last year, their focus has been entirely on player development from many communities. Saru is proud to have produced the first ever African Girls Cricket Team in South Australia. Believing SACA rep’s methods, vision, research and experience over many years, coupled with an unbreakable commitment and dedication to the sport from the participants will set an example for future generations that have never played cricket in a lifetime.
It’s time to start a new narrative, and deciding to make a statement about the future of women’s cricket, Saru is excited to see what the future holds for multicultural women’s cricket and how the impact of the upcoming T20 world cup will affect the grassroots game.