Interview with Lisa Sthalekar
In conversation with Women’s cricket’s most celebrated all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar
Lisa Sthalekar is one of the best known names on the international women’s cricket. She has played for the Australian women’s team and is now a coach to the New South Wales women’s team. Sthalekar is the first
and only woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs—one of the most successful all-rounders in the history of the game.
What has been the most memorable moment/ the highlight of your career?
I have been extremely fortunate to have been part of some very successful teams during my playing career for Australia and NSW. Still to this day I would have to say that playing in my first World Cup 2005 with the legends of the game was extremely special. Also being part of the NSW Breakers who have had an unbelievable record at WNCL where I was part of 16 consecutive finals, winning 14 of them and 5 in a row as Captain.
Did you constantly feel the need to ‘prove yourself’ as cricket is a male dominated game – or was that never a concern?
I believe that you continually had to prove yourself in the game, as it was changing at a rapid rate, but that was within the women's game, but I was never too concerned about proving myself to boys as I was part of Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia that respected the women's game.
Is there any difference at all in the way men and women play cricket?
The real difference is obviously the strength/power. Men can get away with a lot because of their strength, but I believe women are more technically correct to maximize the impact that they can have on bat and
ball. Because of this difference you find that the women's games are a little tighter especially in T20 cricket but I believe that adds to the drama.
How does women’s cricket in Australia compare with other countries, especially India, in terms of opportunities?
There are plenty of opportunities in Australia to play the game at a social level, club level and high performance level. With the increase in the coverage of women's cricket and the new contract system for female players in Australia, cricket is a viable profession.
What needs to be done to provide an impetus to women’s cricket today? How can we better support the sport?
Still to this day there are more females playing the game at an International level and still have to be employed or a university students because at the end of the day the girls are unable to make a descent living representing their country. Therefore National Boards need to keep improving the standard of women's cricket off the field, in regards to contract system to allow women to dedicate more time to training and getting better. Provide better resources for the team, coaching staff, facilities, training program and tour program. What female players get compared to male players are at the completely a different ends of the spectrum and although there may not be a time that female players earn what male players do, they should be treated the same in every other way.
Would a format like IPL help women’s cricket?
I believe a format like IPL would certainly help the women's game. It would provide the women a chance to play with and against opposition that they have never experienced. Plus if players were able to get paid, they would be able to combine that with the national contract and all of sudden women would have a choice if they wanted to work/study or be full-time professional cricketers.It is something that I passionately believe is the next step and am working on a project that will hopefully see it happen in the near future.
Who is your favourite Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player this season and why?
Mitch Starc, because he has shown that T20 cricket isn't all about the batters and his simple plans are extremely successful. Also the fact that we are pretty good friends also mean that I am little biased towards him :)
A message for the RCB Team?
In 2008 I was lucky enough to see RCB play in the first ever IPL match. I was staying with the CNSW U19 Boys and Girls team in the stadium and it was a special time. Therefore I will always have a soft place in my
heart for them. I wish you all the best in this year IPL and look forward to following your results.