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Our women’s cricket team will create icons which will inspire the next generation: RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra

At the launch of Women's Premier League (WPL), Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman and chief commercial officer of Diageo India, and RCB's captain Smriti Mandhana talk about gender inequality and pay disparity between men and women cricketers.

By  Storyboard18Mar 6, 2023 12:15 PM
Our women’s cricket team will create icons which will inspire the next generation: RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra
Responding to Storyboard18's question, cricketer Smriti Mandhana said WPL is the right step in the direction of equal pay for women in sports. “Equal pay was an amazing move by the BCCI, and I would like to thank them for this step. We have witnessed how the IPL for the men’s team has benefited them. I hope that the same luck favors the women’s cricket team too. The Women’s Premier League is starting and is the next big step for the women’s cricket team in India. I hope this leads them in the right direction,” she said. (From left to right: RCB captain Smriti Mandhana, and RCB chairman Prathmesh Mishra)

Prathmesh Mishra, chief commercial officer, Diageo India and chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) believes that sports can make a big impact in accelerating the economic growth of the country by motivating more women sportspersons to come forward and reward them accordingly. Mishra was addressing a press conference along with RCB's captain Smriti Mandhana ahead of the launch of the Women's Premier League (WPL) in Mumbai. The five-team WPL began on March 4 at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai with a faceoff between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans. The former won the match by 143 runs.

“We believe that sports can make a big impact in accelerating the economic growth of the country. Women workforce in India comprises 22 percent in comparison to the US, which is 47 percent. As a country, we have to get to the trillion dollar economy, where the metric has to move up,” Mishra said.

He exemplied how women in sports can add significant value in the US market, something which also holds similar potential in India.

“Women’s sports has made a significant impact in contributing to the economic growth of the United States of America. As per an EY report, women’s sports has the potential of adding $1.5 billion every year to the US economy," he added.

Mishra talked about various initiatives that Royal Challengers Bangalore is undertaking to promote women in sports and how it will motivate the next generation.

“In my opinion, what RCB women’s cricket team will do is create icons which will inspire the next generation. Secondly, we have a program, a ‘Talent ID’ program, which is called ‘Hinterland scouting system’. This system will travel across the length and breath of the country to identify raw talent and give them an opportunity to showcase theirs,” he shared.

He further added, “The identified players can compete, showcase their skills in the matches that will be held. We will also request our existing fan base to spread the message across India and be a part of this momentous journey.”

Last year, October marked a historic moment for the women cricketers of India. The honorary secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah tweeted, “I’m pleased to announce BCCI’s first step towards tackling discrimination. We are implementing pay equity policy for our contracted BCCI Women cricketers. The match fee for both Men and Women Cricketers will be the same as we move into a new era of gender equality in cricket.”

He announced that the BCCI Women cricketers will be paid the same match fee as their male counterparts. Test (Rs 15 lakhs), ODI (Rs 6 lakhs), T20I (Rs 3 lakhs). "Pay equity was my commitment to our women cricketers and I thank the Apex Council for their support,” Shah said.

Responding to Storyboard18 cricketer Smriti Mandhana said WPL is the right step in the direction of equal pay for women in sports.

“Equal pay was an amazing move by the BCCI, and I would like to thank them for this step. We have witnessed how the IPL for the men’s team has benefited them. I hope that the same luck favors the women’s cricket team too. The Women’s Premier League is starting and is the next big step for the women’s cricket team in India. I hope this leads them in the right direction,” she said.

The WPL tournament will end on March 26 and will stage a total of 20 league matches and two Playoff games that will be played in a duration of 23 days. The title sponsorship and the broadcast deal rests with Viacom18 where one can see the matches on Sports18 and JioCinema.

First Published on Mar 6, 2023 11:09 AM