India lack BCCI support: Connor


Clare Connor, the ICC women’s committee chairman and former England Women’s captain, has blamed the BCCI for India’s poor showing at the Women’s World Cup.

India finished in seventh place after failing to qualify for the Super Six stage with just one victory from the group phase. Connor has said the team did not receive the support they deserved from their board.

Connor is now head of women’s cricket at the ECB who have made the England Women’s team the best-resourced in the world but says standards have slipped in India and the BCCI are at fault.

“Generally India have been strong but other teams, Sri Lanka and West Indies who have accelerated so much in the past four years, are overtaking them,” Connor said in an interview. “The Indian players and the support staff will look to the BCCI for more support.”

“There is such passion for cricket in this country. It probably asks the question whether the women have had the support they deserve because their standards have slipped. While that is partly the responsibility of the players I don’t think they had as much support going into this tournament as they would need. That is a shame because they were the hosts and we wanted to bring the World Cup to India because of the passion for the game. It is a shame they didn’t make it further in the tournament.

“If there is more support from the BCCI, then standards will rise. The passion is there for the game, people just need to know more about women’s cricket probably, and hopefully that support will grow.”

Connor said the world cup was a “huge achievement” for the women’s game but it was disappointing that the BCCI didn’t put as much weight into the tournament as it has done for men’s competitions. The Wankhede Stadium was dropped at a late hour to host the final of the Ranji Trophy.

“For me personally the disappointment is that the BCCI has not pulled its way as much as it could have done for the Indian women’s team and to support the profile and exposure of this tournament.

“The market for women’s cricket in India is massive. It is why we wanted a successful tournament here. We wanted to engage this cricket-mad nation and we wanted people to support the Indian women’s team more. We want to grow the game. We want there to be role models and the aspiration to play towards the highest level. Hopefully on television that message would have got across a little bit.

“India is really important for the women’s cricket. It has so much passion for the game that has not necessarily flowed into the women’s game. Over time I hope that will happen with more high-quality cricket being played. It has huge finance in terms of backing the game. I hope this tournament has gone towards opening up some minds that were closed towards women’s cricket in the past.”