Interview with Karuna Jain
Karuna Jain represents India in both Tests and one-day internationals. She is a wicket-keeper and a right-handed batswomen, and is among the brightest stars in Indian cricket. In a freewheeling conversation with Taruka Srivastava, Karuna spoke about the state of women’s cricket and her career:
1. How hard is it making a break in the world of cricket?
For anyone to decide to play cricket is easy; however, to make it to the Indian team requires a lot of effort.
2. Do you think cricket can still be called a gentleman's game?
Cricket has always been known as a gentleman's game but since women's cricket is also picking up it will soon be known as gentle-women's game as well!
3. Do you follow IPL? Which team do you support?
Being a Banglorean I support RCB.
5. Who are your favourite RCB players?
RCB did well this time but they were unlucky to miss out on a playoffs spot. They have a very strong team, in my opinion. Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle have been outstanding and Vinay Kumar too is doing a good job.
4. Do you think a tournament like the IPL would work for Indian women cricketers too?
Something like the IPL for women will surely be helpful for women's cricket as there are lots of talented players in this domain whose playing style can be compared to that of male cricketers.
6. RCB has started a section called RCB Divas dedicated to women fans and players. What are your views on it?
Well, it surely is a great initiative. It shatters the myth that only guys are associated with sports, and shows that women watch cricket keenly too.
7. A lot of men think women don't understand cricket. What do you have to say about that?
I think that's a very wrong conception because cricket is huge in India and right from school girls watch the game and are pretty well aware about it.
8. Do you think lack of popularity for women's cricket is restricted to India, or is it a global problem? Do you think the ICC is doing enough for the growth of women's cricket?
I guess if there is more media coverage to promote women's cricket, things will go ahead in a more smooth manner. I am hoping there will be more coverage in the newspapers from our state matches in the future.
9. This IPL has seen the presence of a lot of female TV anchors and presenters. Do you think that is one of the ways that interest in the game can be generated among women?
I feel it’s a good move to involve more and more women in the game as it will help generate a mass interest among females too. And besides, we all know that it’s the women who add to the glamour quotient, not the men!
10. The female presenters have also received a bit of criticism for perhaps not being as well-versed with the game as their male counterparts. Do you think that is a valid criticism?
Well not really, because as I said earlier women are pretty well aware about the game. They love watching cricket and I am telling this from my own personal experience of seeing my family and friends showing great interest when the matches are on.
11. Who is your favourite male cricketer?
I follow women’s cricket more passionately than men’s cricket, and my favourite cricketer has to be Mithali Raj.
12. Which is your favourite shot?
I love the drive and the pull shot.
13. If there was one bowler from any point in cricket history, male or female, whom you would have loved to bat against, who would that bowler be?
My favourite bowler is Neetu David. Even though she may have retired now, she still remains a legend as a left-arm spinner.
14. What is your message to young girls in India who want to grow up to be cricketers?
Hard work and dedication are the keys to making it big in any sport. If you truly love cricket then it will help you reach great heights. Representing one's country is a proud feeling, so you should definitely take up cricket and work hard!