Mahendra Kumar Sharma, the man who batted for women’s cricket in India, is no more. He passed away in Pune on Tuesday, aged 75.
It was Sharma who conducted India’s first women’s cricket tournament, way back in 1971 at Lucknow. Two years later, he formed the Women’s Cricket Association of India, which organised the women’s game in the country until the BCCI took over in 2006.
Women’s cricket in India is rapidly gaining in popularity and it is set to become even bigger with the launch of the Women’s IPL next year. Recently, the BCCI announced that the women’s pay would match that of men for India’s international games.
In Sharma’s time, there was hardly any money in women’s cricket. Once he had to sell a property of his in Lucknow to meet the expenses of promoting women’s cricket.
Sharma never got his due. The BCCI, perhaps, could consider instituting a trophy in his name for one of its National women’s tournaments.