Notes from Outside the System for July 23

Editor’s note: I will now be including a weekly column on news and notes from around the non-Test playing cricket world – mostly women and Associate stuff, plus some affiliates and USA cricket when I have time. This should publish every Wednesday. Tips and story ideas can be sent to limitedovers (at) gmail (dot) com – with full credit given, of course.

From Box Scored News, women cricketers are standing up for all women: “England women’s cricketers Heather Knight, Lydia Greenway and Tammy Beaumont met two female Bangladeshi cricketers and International Development Minister, Desmond Swayne at Lord’s today (Monday July 21) to discuss issues around sport, women’s empowerment and early forced marriage, ahead of the Prime Minister’s Girl Summit 2014. …The Summit aims to bring about action to end the practices of child, early & forced marriage (CEFM) and female genital mutilation (FGM) within a generation.

New Zealand women cricketers are finally getting a bit of financial stability, with the NZC now offering contracts to the top female players. In the New Zealand Herald, Player Services Manager Henry Moore is quoted as saying that “a leading White Fern on a retainer contract would now, depending on selection, have the ability to earn approximately $25,000 per year while still having the opportunity to complete other work or study. The new White Ferns contracts will be structured along similar lines to the men, with the top 10 players paid an annual retainer depending on a ranking process involving both T20 and ODI cricket.”

Further indication that the women’s game is in growing leaps and bounds, as the ECB women have secured their first sponsor that wasn’t tied to the men’s squad. Doing the reporting is the site Women’s Views on News: “On 14 July the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that Kia Motors had signed a two-year sponsorship deal to be the official car of the England women’s cricket team. Kia will be the named sponsor of England’s home test matches over the next two years; versus India at Wormsley in August and the Ashes test against Australia next summer, and England women’s contracted players will all be provided with new Kia cars for the duration of the deal.” I hear Kias are actually quite nice these days.

From the “I’ll believe it when I see it” department, Cricket Country quotes ICC President N Srinivasan as saying, “‘I think with this structure will benefit associate nations. They will get a substantially greater revenue now. All the cause related money will be go to them. The top associate will gain a lot. We also have Test fund kept separately so that Test cricket is not ignored here. In the new structure we want everyone to get equal share of revenue. It will be distributed equally among associate and affiliate nations.‘” That sound you heard was me rolling my eyes.

The news for women cricketers in New Zealand and the UK was good, but not so much in Pakistan. As reported in The Daily Times: “…the suicide of 17-year-old Pakistani cricketer Halima Rafiq has gone virtually uncommented or protested about by civil society, human rights organisations, or the government. For those unfamiliar with the case, Halima Rafiq was a member of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket team who on Wednesday allegedly committed suicide by drinking a bottle of bathroom cleaner in her home in Multan. The story begins some months before but it speaks to years of accumulated abuse and harassment that finally ended with this young woman taking her own life. Halima’s story began after she and four other women cricketers appeared on a television show last year saying they had been asked to provide sexual favours for the chairman of the Multan Cricket Council (MCC) Maulvi Sultan Alam and the chief selector Mohammad Javed in return for placement on the team.” Very sad and important story. Please read.

Afghanistan are currently playing their first ever bilateral one-day international series against a Test nation (Zimbabwe) (and yes they count as a Test Nation), and they are holding their own, too. Cricinfo has it: “Afghanistan kept the four-match series alive with a win in the tightly-contested third ODI in Bulawayo. None of their bowlers took more than two wickets and only one of their batsmen got to a fifty – Javed Ahmadi with 56 – but they still overpowered Zimbabwe by two wickets, in a chase of 262, with two balls to spare. That brought the series scoreline to 2-1, in favour of the hosts, with one to play.” Someone, somewhere, please explain to me the virtue of a four match series.

Yours truly has a report on the first tie in the inaugural season of the American Cricket Federation’s Champions League. “In one of the wildest days ever in the short history of the American Cricket Champions League, the Pittsburgh Cricket Association (PCA) played the Midwest Cricket Tournament (MCT) to a tie on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

The day started with rain and clouds and a soaked outfield at PCA’s home ground in the Steel City, and with the threat of the match being canceled, the players decided to pick up their gear and drive the nearly 200 miles to Columbus, Ohio, where they would play a rain-shortened 20 over a side match.” It really was a cracking game.

And, finally, from India and Cricket Country: “The Indian women‘s cricket team will be playing a four-day ‘Test’ match after a gap of eight long years as they gear up for a short two and half week tour of England starting August 7. India will be playing a ‘Test’ and three ODIs during the 19 day trip after from two practice games. The Test match will be played at the Wormsley Cricket Ground from August 13-16. The Mithali Raj led side will also get a chance to play at the prestigious Lord’s ground where the third and final ODI will be played. Incidentally the last time that Indian women were seen in whites was back in August 2006, when they beat England in a memorable Test match at Taunton.” Did they really need to put Test in quotes?

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