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Pandey offers suggestions to Improve women’s game

first_img(ESPNCRICINFO) – India pace-bowling allrounder Shikha Pandey has become the latest in a long line of cricketers to offer views on whether women’s cricket needs any tweaks – like smaller balls or shorter pitches – to help it further flourish and attract more fans. In a series of tweets, Pandey on Saturday said “most of the suggestions” to alter the women’s game were “superfluous”.“Please, don’t compare women’s sport, women’s cricket in this case, with men’s sport. We need to see it as a different sport altogether… A sport that 86,174 spectators turned up to watch on March 8, 2020 and several million watched live on their television sets,” she tweeted, referring to the record crowd at the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup between Australia and India at the MCG in March.A mainstay of the Indian attack that finished runners-up both at the 2017 ODI World Cup and the recent T20 World Cup, Pandey wrote, “Reducing the size of the ball is fine, but as Ian Smith suggested, it only works if the weight remains the same. This will allow for bowlers to grip the ball better – more revs for the spinners – and hits will also travel further (not be the case if it is light).”As for reducing the length of the pitch from 22 yards, Pandey said: “An Olympic 100m female sprinter doesn’t run 80m to win First place medal and clock the same timing as her male counterpart,” she wrote. “So the whole ‘decreasing the length of the pitch’ for whatever reasons seems dubious. Also, it almost definitely takes the double-headers [with the men’s teams] out of question.”Instead of “tinkering with rules or the very fabric of the game to attract an audience”, Pandey said, “Growth can be achieved by marketing the sport well.”She also advocated more technology in the women’s game. “Why not have DRS, Snicko, Hotspot, all of the technical acumen and live broadcast for every game that we play anywhere in the world.”Potential changes to the women’s game, such as using a shorter pitch and a smaller ball, were suggested by New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and India batter Jemimah Rodrigues in a recent webinar conducted by the ICC. Then, in a series of interviews by ESPNcricinfo last week, the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Rachael Haynes, Lea Tahuhu, Kate Cross and Nida Dar had also laid out their views on the debate.“If it [the act of proposing tweaks] is about bringing it [women’s cricket] aesthetically closer to the men’s game, I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it. The women’s game is a good product that’s continuing to evolve & make its own mark,” Haynes said.Tahuhu pointed out that “if you’re having to prepare two-sized pitches, then you lose out the opportunity to host double-headers with men, while Mandhana added: “Although I feel women’s cricket is exciting as it is… reducing the length might make it interesting from the viewer’s perspective.”Cross and Dar emphasised that better infrastructural and monetary investment and more publicity on the part of the media is the ideal way to the take the women’s game forward. “Having the WBBL, the KSL, the Hundred or a women’s IPL – that’s the kind of change the women’s game needs,” said Cross, while Dar wondered, “How about publicising the matches rigorously on social media and mainstream media? … Give players more incentive to raise the standard of the game and things will get more entertaining.”last_img read more

Badger Herald looks for win vs. Dirty Bird

first_imgTaking a cue from the University of Wisconsin’s other softball powerhouse, The Badger Herald is looking to break its own losing streak against The Daily Cardinal Saturday.After last year’s heartbreaking 16-15 loss, the Herald has made a few changes it hopes will provide a winning formula. Most notably absent from this season’s squad will be former Sports Content Editor Derek Zetlin and UW Club Baseball star, who was traded in February to the Czech Republic in exchange for a year’s supply of Pilsner Urquell.Although Zetlin provided much of the offensive fireworks while manning center field for the Herald last year, current Sports Editor Jonah Braun believes the trade will ultimately benefit his squad.“I just talked to Derek, and he said another loss this year would be more disappointing than the Patriots’ going 18-1,” Braun said. “He told me to encourage a team-oriented style of play and he’s right. We don’t have Manny, so there’s no one player on our roster that we can rely on to carry us to victory.”The Herald will try to replace Zetlin with a slew of newcomers in Associate Sports Editor Michael Bleach, “Like Totally” College Editor Taylor Cox and Associate Photo Editor Lukas Keapproth.BH veteran and former Sports Editor Ben Voelkel said he likes what he sees in this group, especially Keapproth.“We held a voluntary practice a few weeks ago, and Lukas didn’t bring a glove,” Voelkel said. “Instead, he barehanded grounders all day and snagged a few pop flies behind his back and over his shoulder. I’ve never seen anything like it.”Another newcomer to the Herald’s lineup will be Editorial Page Content Editor Joey Labuz. During the offseason, Labuz made significant strides in his batting due to the enhanced ingestion of sausage to compliment his daily diet of General Tso’s chicken and expired IPA.The Cardinal hopes its shameless partnership with Anytime Fitness and concurrent “beefing up” of Sports Editor Ben Breiner will ensure another softball victory for the Dirty Birds. After eating his 20 daily power bars and enduring 25 sets of 10 pushups Monday after DC readers told him it was “Brein Time,” the Brein admitted he might not be 100 percent for the game.“It’s been a rough few weeks,” Breiner said. “Between all the extra eating I have to do for this workout plan and the incessant pushups, I haven’t even had time to explain to Ashley Spencer that no one in their right mind wants to envision her as a stripper.”Editor in Chief Tom Schalmo will manage the BH squad for a second consecutive year, hoping for more success than the last time out. Schalmo’s tentative starting lineup includes Ken “Papa Bear” Harris toeing the rubber once again to baffle Dirty Bird hitters with his much-improved screwball and recently developed spitball.On the injury front, Sports Content Editor Ben Solochek is probable (scurvy) and Editorial Page Editor Sam Clegg is questionable (omithophobia). Design Director Lee Dix (tennis elbow) and Deputy News Editor Alex Brousseau (vertically challenged) will be game-time decisions.When asked who might make the difference in this year’s matchup, one name came to mind for former Sports Editor Tyler Mason.“Hokum,” Mason said. “This is the year for Lester ‘Hokum’ Chen. Between shifts as page designer and long sessions of Halo, he’s been working hard on the diamond. I think he could surprise some people out there.”There will be a few BH members who will be unavailable for the game. State Editor Rachel Vesco is holding out from team activities because she is displeased with the unavailability of stronger performance-enhancing substances. Editorial Board Chairman Jason Smathers will also be unavailable because Madison police have detained him for failure to wield a belt.While there may be equal play on the field, it may take some intangibles to pull ahead in this contest. The Herald will look to continue its dominance in reporting, design, music choice and life in general. Managing Editor Sarah Probst, who goes by MC Diet Probst in her bi-annual appearance at the Herald End-of-Year Party, will look to continue the Herald’s dominance in music choice.“The thumpin’ beats and smooth rhythms will blow those cats out of the water, LOLZ,” Probst said. “But if all else fails, I’ll play ‘Poker Face.’”last_img read more