More than six months after India returned home as World Cup runners-up to unprecedented hype, Mithali Raj and Co were set to play their next international match in South Africa. The three-match One Day International series was a part of the ICC Women’s Championship to qualify for the next World Cup. The first match was on February 5 at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
But cricket followers tuning in to watch the game on Monday afternoon were in for a surprise as the match was not being shown Live on television or online. There weren’t any live commentary portals either or links to stream it from other sources.
In fact, the only available live scores and information was from the official Twitter handle of Cricket South Africa. Not even the Twitter handle for the India’s women’s cricket team had the live scores, nor did the account for ICC Live Scores.
According to BCCI representatives, the onus was on Cricket South Africa to ensure live telecast of the matches. The Indian board cannot produce footage for matches played outside the county.
“BCCI does not have the rights for the matches that are played outside India,” a media representative of the Board of Control for Cricket in India told The Field.
They also said that the three double-header Twenty20 matches – when the women’s and men’s team play one after the other at the same venue – will be shown Live on TV.
The Field has reached out to Cricket South Africa for comment and are awaiting their response. We will update the copy, as and when they respond.
The effects of the non-telecast were evident from the onset. There was an error in the opening combination for India, with all live scores, including the International Cricket Council, showing that it was Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana who opened the batting for India. This feed was picked up by leading cricket websites such as Cricinfo and Cricbuzz as well.
However, the official Twitter account of Cricket South Africa was sharing updates about Mandhana batting with Punam Raut, the regular Indian opening combination.
This confusion lasted till the first wicket fell – Raut on 19 – with even the official BCCI handle tweeting that Raj fell. The tweet was later deleted and the scorecards corrected.
Meanwhile, Indian men’s tour is being shown Live on Sony Ten channels with multiple highlight packages running through the day. Interestingly, the next ODI matches of both teams are set to be held on the same day, Wednesday.