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Batting in Stilettoes

Batting in Stilettoes

A light-hearted look at the stereotypes associated with women in the world of cricket

Mithila Mehta

There is a tribe of cricket-loving women and they’re not pleased.

The reason? The countless baseless stereotypes that surround female cricket fans—unflattering and untrue on every level.

Stereotype 1: Women fans are ignorant

“I’m sick and tired of men wondering if I know the rules of the game and wanting to test my knowledge of it,” grumbles 23-year-old Chaiti Desai, who never misses a single match. Chaiti enjoys learning random cricketing statistics in her free time.

The word on the street is that the female cricket fan is generally more ignorant and cricket-illiterate than her male counterpart. Which is, of course, absolute nonsense. Yes, there are ignorant fans—but these belong to both genders. Knowledge isn’t a function of gender. (Read: The difference between Male and Female cricket fans)

There are scores of women who can belt out statistics with ridiculous accuracy; others whose knowledge of the game can put experts to shame. Enough said.

Stereotype 2: Women fans are less passionate about the sport

“I love cricket, but no one takes me or my love for the sport seriously,” complains Shreya Shah, who has been watching cricket for the past 14 years. Shreya likes to say jokingly that her relationship with cricket is the longest of her life.

Some of the craziest fans we have come across in the recent years have been women. Armed with enough passion for the sport to power an entire stadium, these women take their cricket very, very seriously. From writing poetry (Read: Gayle – A poetry) to braiding their hair with the colour of their team (See: RCB hair braiding) they have done it all

Stereotype 3: Women fans are more concerned with a cricketer’s looks than his technique

“Look at it this way: If a man likes Virat Kohli, it’s for how he plays. If a woman supports Virat Kohi, it’s for how he looks. That’s not true and is terribly sexist,” complains RCB fan Paula George (who is a Virat Kohli fan, but of course)

Give female fans some credit. They really aren’t half as shallow as the world makes them out to be. Talent and technique trumps all—the fact that a player is good looking too doesn’t hurt—but usually, that’s purely incidental.

Stereotype 4: Women’s cricket is a sham

Most people who dismiss women’s cricket have probably never even watched a single over of it in their lives.

Admittedly, there is a long road ahead for women’s cricket to reach the level of men’s cricket, but it’s unfair to discount the skill of the women cricketers. India’s women’s team is packed with talent—whether it is skipper Mithali Raj, batting star Anjum Chopra or Jhulan Goswami with her fine all-round technique.

Stereotype 5: Women play cricket in stilettoes

I mean, come on. Who does that.

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