This article was published in the July issue of the Sports Tribune magazine
Bangladesh women's team made all the headlines in June this year for their excellent results in T20Is. The Tigresses stunned the cricket world by lifting their maiden major title defeating six-time champion India in the final of the Asia Cup T20I 2018 in Kuala Lumpur last month. And this month, Bangladesh kicked off their tour of Europe recording their maiden bilateral series win, defeating Ireland 2-1 in the three-match T20I series. They then went to the Netherlands for the World T20I qualifiers and maintained their winning trend.
Bangladesh women's team had gone into the six-nation Asia Cup as an underdog with Asian powerhouses India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan participating in the regional six-nation competition. The ambition was to make it to the final game of the tournament.
The Tigresses had achieved the target riding on four consecutive wins despite making a losing start to the tournament against Sri Lanka. However, the No 9 ranked women's team in the world bounced back in style to win the next four league matches, including their maiden international victory against India. And to everyone’s surprise, Bangladesh registered a nail-biting three-wicket win in the last ball of the game to lift the Asia Cup trophy.
Boosted by the unprecedented success Bangladesh women's team travelled to Ireland earlier this month for a three-match T20I series against the host nation - a series that was supposed to prepare them for the World T20I 2018 qualifiers in the Netherlands.
The Tigresses ensured to keep their mark in Ireland too, recording their maiden series win, and carried the momentum to the Netherlands. Bangladesh, when this report was filed, had already finished as the champion in Group A and thus set up a semi-final with Scotland, taking one step closer for the event proper, to be held in the West Indies in November.
The overnight success by Bangladesh in the shortest format had turned heads. Along with the plaudits came comparisons between the operation of the men's and the women's team. Fingers were pointed towards the board for providing below par facilities to the women cricketers compared to the men.
However thorough research of BCB's input for women's cricket showed the accusations were not fully correct. Dhaka Tribune on June 21, 2018 had published an article headlined “Anatomy of women's cricket in Bangladesh” where efforts were made to find the truth behind the structure of cricket in Bangladesh.
Salary of the female cricketers was the biggest point of discussion and the difference in salary between the male and the female cricketers is undoubtedly vast. BCB president Nazmul Hasan had cited the structural differences in cricket and the fact that women's cricket in Bangladesh was part of the ICC Development Programme until very recently.
The BCB had introduced a salary system for the women cricketers in 2008 and at the moment around 50 cricketers are part of the system. They are earning between Tk4.5 lakhs to 7 lakhs per year from the board, which includes match fees, daily allowances and tour fees during international series and tournaments.
Very recently, the BCB made a hike in the salary which is not the only source of earning for women cricketers. Domestic leagues such as Dhaka Premier Division League, First Division Cricket League and National Cricket League are also a good source of earning for cricketers.
Believing the time is just right, the BCB has planned further developments of cricket for women in Bangladesh. However, only time will tell if the movement will be sufficient and efficient.
Roll Of Honour
Year Format Host Winner Runners up
2004 ODI Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka
2006 ODI Pakistan India Sri Lanka
2006 ODI India India Sri Lanka
2008 ODI Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka
2012 T20I China India Pakistan
2016 T20I Thailand India Pakistan
2018 T20I Malaysia Bangladesh India
June 3, Sunday
Sri Lanka 64/4 in 14.3 overs (Hansika 23, Kubra 3/13) beat Bangladesh 63 in 19.3 overs (Ayasha 11, Kumari 3/17) by six wickets
June 4, Monday
Bangladesh 96/3 in 17.5 overs (Shamima 31, Nigar 31*) beat Pakistan 95/5 (Sana 21*, Nahida 2/23) by seven wickets
June 6, Wednesday
Bangladesh 142/3 in 19.4 overs (Fargana 52*, Rumana 42*) beat India 141/7 (Kaur 42, Rumana 3/21) by seven wickets
June 7, Thursday
Bangladesh 62/1 in 11.1 overs (Ayasha 25*, Nigar 25*) beat Thailand 60/8 (Salma 2/6, Nahida 2/10) by nine wickets
June 9, Saturday
Malaysia 60/9 (Duraisingam 17, Rumana 3/8) lost to Bangladesh 130/4 (Shamima 43, Ayasha 31) by 70 runs
Final, June 10, Sunday
Bangladesh 113/7 (Nigar 27, Poonam 4/9) beat India 112/9 (Kaur 56, Rumana 2/22) by three wickets