In celebration of the United Nation’s International Day of the Girl (October 11) – the day that promotes girls’ human rights, highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys, and addresses the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the world, USAWOMENSCRICKET.ORG kicks off the series: Hacking Cricket Culture.
Over the next several weeks, this series will feature inspirational stories of women cricketers through the eyes of fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers who consider the women cricketers in their lives to be heroes. For some of them, they began to appreciate women playing cricket only when they discovered through their loved ones that love for and ability to play cricket could not be defined by gender. By sharing their stories, we hope that they will help others to hack their own cricket culture and unlock a domain that can be fulfilling for all.
There exists an interesting dichotomy in US cricket where several stakeholders migrate from cricket-playing nations to the US with hopes of achieving the American dream and enjoying the benefits of a progressive and free society. Yet many of these stakeholders are struggling to accept women playing cricket – known historically to be a male-dominated sport. Many of these stakeholders throughout the country are predisposed to think of women as one-dimensional or put more bluntly, that women belong in the kitchen and not on the field. This is due largely to the teachings of their generation or their socio-cultural views, or a combination of both. But there is a minority of men who support, promote, and evangelize women’s cricket. How do we cross this chasm?
Like other social ills, this is a conversation cricket stakeholders, especially in the US, are afraid to have. If the sport is to have an unbreakable and wholesome future, a fundamental shift to pursue a more inclusive cricket society needs to occur. In fact, the shift is inevitable but we should not have to wait decades for it to occur. We can all help to be a catalyst to this change. If we hack our own cricket culture, we can pave the way for more to embrace the true love that is cricket and all it has to offer.