Following World War I, many women’s sports organisations were created. In 1926, a team of female players travelled to Colwall to play cricket.
Following that, the Women’s Cricket Association was created, allowing women to play and enjoy cricket. Within ten years, 105 WCA member clubs were established.
Women’s Cricket Advancement
Since women’s cricket was so popular around the world, Australia and New Zealand founded associations for it in 1934. As a result, an England cricket team sailed to Australia and participated in three test matches during the Australian cricket season.
The International Women’s Cricket Council was formed in 1958 as a result of women’s continued participation in international cricket. In addition to encouraging overseas tours, the council served as a clearing house for any issues concerning international cricket.
England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Netherlands founded this league. Other members gradually joined, such as India and the West Indies in 1973, Ireland in 1982, Denmark in 1983, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1997.
The First Women’s Cricket World Cup
Women’s cricket was popular all over the world, but it was difficult to organise bilateral series and maintain public interest. World Cups were the finest way to bring all teams together and establish a stage for everyone at the same time.
Rachael Heyhoe Flint and Jack Hayward made the decision to host the first Women’s World Cup. England, an English youth squad, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and an International XI competed in this 1973 tournament.
After the World Cup’s success, the MCC agreed to allow women to play at Lord’s for the first time after initially refusing to host the final.
Women’s Cricket Development
The International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC) chose to cede management of the worldwide women’s game to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2005. To better the game, all women’s national associations were united into men’s associations.
With more money and better facilities, the game drew interest from other industries, such as sports betting. It opened new doors and drew people from all walks of life, including non-cricketing nations.
Women’s cricket needed to engage with men in order to attract more support. It resulted in the ECB establishing professional contracts with 18 of England’s best female players. All major teams competing in international cricket now have professional contracts in place.
The History of Indian Women’s Cricket
Although men predominately play the popular sport of cricket in this country, women have pulled up their socks and made the nation proud with their outstanding performances over the years.
It all started in the early 1970s when a few eager ladies began playing cricket. Though the sport was not legally structured at the time, Mr. Mahendra Kumar Sharma, the founding secretary, formed the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) under the Societies Act in Lucknow in 1973, under the presidency of Begum Hamida Habibullah.
This was a godsend to the many aspiring female cricketers. The WCAI was also granted membership in the International Women’s Cricket Council (IWCC) that year.
Between 1970 and 1973, there was a lot of cricketing activity because the women’s teams were playing the game nine months out of the year. The first Women’s Inter-State Nationals were held in Pune in April 1973, with three teams competing – Bombay, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. The second edition was held in Varanasi near the end of that year, with the number of teams increasing from three to eight.
Shanta Rangaswamy, Diana Edulji, Sudha Shah, and Sandhya Agarwal all made significant contributions and inspired the game. The Indian government honoured women cricketer’s accomplishments by bestowing the prestigious Arjuna Award on all four of them.
Since the 1970s Indian women’s cricket has come a long way having reached the World Cup finals in 2005 and 2017 and playing in front of a crowd of over 85,000 in the T20 World Cup final in 2020.