Whenever international cricket is mentioned, many people tend to quickly shift their mind to men’s category. However, at least one thing is for sure: cricket is not just a men’s affair, women have a share too. We have witnessed female superstars perform monumentally during cricket international tournaments, and it would be unfair to talk about cricket as an international sport without mentioning women.
On 26th July, 1745, The Reading Mercury recorded the first women’s cricket match, and it was a clash between the maids of Bramley and Hambledon in which each side had 11 players dressed in white. Women’s cricket gained popularity over time, leading to the need for coordination of women’s cricket globally. As a result, the International Women’s Cricket Council, or IWCC, was formed in 1958 to carry out this responsibility. The body replaced the English Women’s Cricket Association, a de facto body that was doing the same duty since 1920s. The 2005 merger between the IWCC and the ICC saw the formation of a single unified body for effective management and development of cricket.
The inaugural Test match of women’s international cricket took place in December 1934, and it was a match between England and Australia. Since then, the sport has been consistently played at the international level. New Zealand women team joined the game in 1935, and in 2007, the number of women’s Test nations hit “10” when Netherlands women team followed soot. They played against South Africa in their debut match. The women’s One Day International (ODI) competitions have also been taking place since 1973. With time, ODIs have become the main focus and most popular of women’s international cricket.
Women’s cricket should not be looked down upon as an inferior cricket sport. The sport has immensely contributed to the success of international cricket, making it to be what it is today.