Goan women cricketers deserve better pay: Anita Kakode
BY AUGUSTO RODRIGUES
“Girls don’t opt to play cricket because it involves standing under the sun for hours and that means getting tanned which ends up as a hurdle in finding a suitable match for marriage,” opines Anita Kakode, the lady who kick-started cricket for women in Goa.
When Anita decided to play, she was asked by coach Chandrakant Chede to organise girls to form a team and until she did so, she kept practising and playing with the boys at the Panjim Gymkhana.
“Women cricket has not come a long way because the perception of the need of players is still not understood. The girls are paid just Rs 25,000 per match; they are still being given bread, bata wada and banana at practice,” says Anita when emphasising that money should be spent where it is due.
Women sports have always been on the back bench all over the world with cricket and football making amends now and Anita believes, “it is better late than never.”
Women cricket has not come a long way because the perception of the need of players is still not understood. The girls are paid just Rs 25,000 per match; they are still being given bread, bata wada and banana at practice
-- Anita Kakode
“Except for Shikha who knows what to eat, the rest of the girls are unaware or not in a position to eat healthy food and training is given in patches and that is why the outstation players are shining in the GWPL,” laments Anita as she draws comparisons to the performance of Goan girls in the competition.
“The problem in Goa is that the players as well as the coaches are given a break after the competition is over. This was not the case in our time. We were given two days break and called for practise even during the monsoons and that is the only way to improve,” suggests Anita, who has been in and out of GCA in various capacities.
“The coaches are paid for a year and not for tournaments and they should be made to work for what they are paid. By sending the players away, their talents are automatically shunted. Coaches should follow up on their boys for three years,” suggests Anita who has seen players flourish and wane within a season.
“Goa had no cricket culture when I had started but we improved within a year because we were given regular practice and not let off after the tournaments were over. We practised even during the monsoons and I think Sports Authority of Goa played a big role in the formation of cricket in Goa,” admits Anita as she watches her players from Panjim Gymkhana practise.
“We were trained to play with a straight bat by coach Chede and I remember how we used to be sledged by our opponents because though we could not score much, they could not get us out,” reminiscences Anita.
“If you want a good team, you need to keep them for three years together and get a coach who does not return home after the tournament. Players need to be corrected and that can be done with daily practice,” suggests Anita who feels confident her team has a chance of winning the first GWPL.
“Look at what Vidarbha did. Chandrakant Pandit asked to be given a free hand and after three years, Vidarbha has won the Ranji trophy twice. If Vidarbha can do it, why not Goa?” wonders Anita.
“Our girls need to be paid more and I don’t see a problem because the funds are available. Why should they be paid less than girls who are sitting in offices when they are sacrificing so much by being on the field,” asks Anita.
Good diet, good financial package and consistent coaching throughout the year, according to Anita, will help cricket rest on the pedestal it should have been.