Women's Cricket

No broadcast of India vs SA shows cricket boards still don’t care enough about the women’s game

If you cannot arrange for TV or online coverage of the few matches they play, how do you expect to build an audience for women’s cricket in India?

Compare the following scenarios:

Scenario 1: It is the first match of the ODI series between India and South Africa. About an hour before the start, the television programmes are in full flow with cricket experts and former players discussing the pitch, team combination et al. There is a TV crew at toss, a brand-sponsored segment aired, online ball-by-ball commentary, Twitter trends, the works.

Scenario 2: It is the first match of the ODI series between India and South Africa. Till the toss, nobody, not even former cricketers, know which channel or online streaming service is showing the match. Actually, many people don’t even know whether the match will be telecast on TV. Barely any word on Twitter, not even updates on the official handle.

There are no prizes for guessing which scenario is for which series. Both the Indian men and women cricket teams are playing a One-Day International series in South Africa. The men are taking on the Proteas in a bilateral series and the women are competing in the first fixture of the all-important ODI championship to qualify for the next World Cup.

But while the highlights of the men’s ODI are still running, the first women’s ODI (which India won by 88 runs) was not even shown on TV.

The reason? According to BCCI, it is because they do not have the right to produce matches outside India, which puts the onus on Cricket South Africa. On their part, CSA have been tweeting regular updates about the match on their Twitter handle but no live visuals. However, they confirmed to The Field that there will be no telecast or live streaming of the first five matches of the women’s tour.

The CSA handle also released a four-minute long video highlights package on their YouTube page, indicating that there is indeed a camera set up in place, just not for Live telecast.

Both Sony and Star have also clearly stated that they do not have the rights for the women’s tour. However, both BCCI, CSA, and Sony have informed The Field that three of the women’s matches in South Africa will be telecast... when they play the three double headers Twenty20s. “The last three T20’s will be televised live as part of the double headers being played in Johannesburg, Centurion and Cape Town,” CSA told The Field.

Read: Only the three matches where the women and men’s team play on the same day on the same ground, will be on TV.

Onus also on BCCI

The Diamond Oval in Kimberly, where the ODI series is being played, is not some far-off ground difficult to access. The stadium has had matches shown live on TV and it can certainly be done for the women’s matches... if the boards were so inclined.

This was a series planned in September, almost four months back. Surely CSA could have worked out a way to get a basic camera feed out, if not a produced package?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India is the same body that reportedly made South Africa play their Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe. Surely they can persuade CSA or at least take the initiative for live score updates for the women’s team? Or take a cue from Cricket Australia that makes it a point to broadcast even tour or practice game on their website.

Even the International Cricket Council, which has ensured continuous cricket with the ODI Championship model, needs to make the boards accountable for the broadcast of said championship.

But here the message is clear: The reception and recognition and hype after India’s World Cup final run was just tokenism. The bottomline is that there are no takers for women’s cricket. No point in investing in a camera set for telecast. No need to even tweet scores and updates from an international game.

Importance of broadcast

The players themselves have spoken multiple times about the importance of broadcasting the matches live and how it would help women’s cricket.

This is what Mithali Raj had said the last time India were in South Africa

“It is important that we market the sport. If we are playing a series, or a bilateral series, it is important that it is broadcasted because a lot of people back home are so inquisitive to know the result of the game.

While there are a handful of fans who watch women’s cricket online, Raj urged the board to telecast the matches, “They do follow it over the net, but if it is broadcasted, it can make a huge difference for the profile of the game as well as for the players.

Unfortunately, that (the issue of broadcasting) depends on the home board.”

This was in May 2017, when India had beaten South Africa by eight wickets to lift the Quadrangular Series. Almost eight months later, nothing has changed. The fact that India fought all odds and apathy to reach the finals of and come as close as nine runs to winning the World Cup means nothing.

When many fans, this writer included, switched on their TVs on Monday afternoon, there was a sense of hope that even though India hasn’t played in more than six months, things have changed since Lord’s 2017.

This was the perfect time to build on the momentum the team has created in England; the fans are coming in, make it count and provide a platform for the team to reach a new level. Bring the game to masses, make them care about it like they do about the men’s.

But sadly, the apathy towards women’s cricket continues. It is an established fact that India women barely get a chance to play as much international cricket as their peers of both genders.

Graphic by Anand Katakam
Graphic by Anand Katakam

The disparity in the number of matches between the men and women’s team have played is highest in Indian cricket. The men’s team has played 87 more matches than the women’s team since 2015.

That is almost one-and-a-half years’ worth of matches. In 2017, Virat Kohli and Co played 54 matches across formats. The women, only 20 ODIs, mainly because it was a World Cup year.

But if you cannot arrange for telecast in the measly number of matches they play, how do you expect to get an audience for women’s cricket? Even from a purely monetary sense, an audience is the basic, first step.

Graphic by Anand Katakam
Graphic by Anand Katakam

There are people who still talk about how they never saw Kapil Dev’s iconic 175 in the 1983 World Cup due to a BBC strike. What if Monday’s ODI had another explosive knock from Harmanpreet Kaur? Or a hat-trick or a double hundred or some insane record? All of it would be lost, because two boards of two of the biggest cricket-playing countries, one of which is the richest, didn’t care enough to produce a basic, one-camera feed for an international game.

It all comes down to one simple fact – nobody cares enough to invest in women’s cricket. There is no question that the resources are there, but there is no inclination to set up a live system to show it.

The subtext is there for all to see: Receive felicitations when you perform well but don’t expect much when actually playing. Don’t wait for television coverage or people to follow it. You’ll get TV coverage eventually, when there is a double header with the men or when you play in India. Till then, wait for the boys to play, you can you have your moment then.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The next Industrial Revolution is here – driven by the digitalization of manufacturing processes

Technologies such as Industry 4.0, IoT, robotics and Big Data analytics are transforming the manufacturing industry in a big way.

The manufacturing industry across the world is seeing major changes, driven by globalization and increasing consumer demand. As per a report by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd on the future of manufacturing, the ability to innovate at a quicker pace will be the major differentiating factor in the success of companies and countries.

This is substantiated by a PWC research which shows that across industries, the most innovative companies in the manufacturing sector grew 38% (2013 - 2016), about 11% year on year, while the least innovative manufacturers posted only a 10% growth over the same period.

Along with innovation in products, the transformation of manufacturing processes will also be essential for companies to remain competitive and maintain their profitability. This is where digital technologies can act as a potential game changer.

The digitalization of the manufacturing industry involves the integration of digital technologies in manufacturing processes across the value chain. Also referred to as Industry 4.0, digitalization is poised to reshape all aspects of the manufacturing industry and is being hailed as the next Industrial Revolution. Integral to Industry 4.0 is the ‘smart factory’, where devices are inter-connected, and processes are streamlined, thus ensuring greater productivity across the value chain, from design and development, to engineering and manufacturing and finally to service and logistics.

Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics are some of the key technologies powering Industry 4.0. According to a report, Industry 4.0 will prompt manufacturers globally to invest $267 billion in technologies like IoT by 2020. Investments in digitalization can lead to excellent returns. Companies that have implemented digitalization solutions have almost halved their manufacturing cycle time through more efficient use of their production lines. With a single line now able to produce more than double the number of product variants as three lines in the conventional model, end to end digitalization has led to an almost 20% jump in productivity.

Digitalization and the Indian manufacturing industry

The Make in India program aims to increase the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the country’s GDP from 16% to 25% by 2022. India’s manufacturing sector could also potentially touch $1 trillion by 2025. However, to achieve these goals and for the industry to reach its potential, it must overcome the several internal and external obstacles that impede its growth. These include competition from other Asian countries, infrastructural deficiencies and lack of skilled manpower.

There is a common sentiment across big manufacturers that India lacks the eco-system for making sophisticated components. According to FICCI’s report on the readiness of Indian manufacturing to adopt advanced manufacturing trends, only 10% of companies have adopted new technologies for manufacturing, while 80% plan to adopt the same by 2020. This indicates a significant gap between the potential and the reality of India’s manufacturing industry.

The ‘Make in India’ vision of positioning India as a global manufacturing hub requires the industry to adopt innovative technologies. Digitalization can give the Indian industry an impetus to deliver products and services that match global standards, thereby getting access to global markets.

The policy, thus far, has received a favourable response as global tech giants have either set up or are in the process of setting up hi-tech manufacturing plants in India. Siemens, for instance, is helping companies in India gain a competitive advantage by integrating industry-specific software applications that optimise performance across the entire value chain.

The Digital Enterprise is Siemens’ solution portfolio for the digitalization of industries. It comprises of powerful software and future-proof automation solutions for industries and companies of all sizes. For the discrete industries, the Digital Enterprise Suite offers software and hardware solutions to seamlessly integrate and digitalize their entire value chain – including suppliers – from product design to service, all based on one data model. The result of this is a perfect digital copy of the value chain: the digital twin. This enables companies to perform simulation, testing, and optimization in a completely virtual environment.

The process industries benefit from Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations by utilizing a continuous data model of the entire lifecycle of a plant that helps to increase flexibility and efficiency. Both offerings can be easily customized to meet the individual requirements of each sector and company, like specific simulation software for machines or entire plants.

Siemens has identified projects across industries and plans to upgrade these industries by connecting hardware, software and data. This seamless integration of state-of-the-art digital technologies to provide sustainable growth that benefits everyone is what Siemens calls ‘Ingenuity for Life’.

Case studies for technology-led changes

An example of the implementation of digitalization solutions from Siemens can be seen in the case of pharma major Cipla Ltd’s Kurkumbh factory.

Cipla needed a robust and flexible distributed control system to dispense and manage solvents for the manufacture of its APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients used in many medicines). As part of the project, Siemens partnered with Cipla to install the DCS-SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and migrate from batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing. By establishing the first ever flow Chemistry based API production system in India, Siemens has helped Cipla in significantly lowering floor space, time, wastage, energy and utility costs. This has also improved safety and product quality.

In yet another example, technology provided by Siemens helped a cement plant maximise its production capacity. Wonder Cement, a greenfield project set up by RK Marbles in Rajasthan, needed an automated system to improve productivity. Siemens’ solution called CEMAT used actual plant data to make precise predictions for quality parameters which were previously manually entered by operators. As a result, production efficiency was increased and operators were also freed up to work on other critical tasks. Additionally, emissions and energy consumption were lowered – a significant achievement for a typically energy intensive cement plant.

In the case of automobile major, Mahindra & Mahindra, Siemens’ involvement involved digitalizing the whole product development system. Siemens has partnered with the manufacturer to provide a holistic solution across the entire value chain, from design and planning to engineering and execution. This includes design and software solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and Integrated Automation. For Powertrain, the solutions include SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives, besides CNC and PLC-controlled machines linked via the Profinet interface.

The above solutions helped the company puts its entire product lifecycle on a digital platform. This has led to multi-fold benefits – better time optimization, higher productivity, improved vehicle performance and quicker response to market requirements.

Siemens is using its global expertise to guide Indian industries through their digital transformation. With the right technologies in place, India can see a significant improvement in design and engineering, cutting product development time by as much as 30%. Besides, digital technologies driven by ‘Ingenuity for Life’ can help Indian manufacturers achieve energy efficiency and ensure variety and flexibility in their product offerings while maintaining quality.

Play

The above examples of successful implementation of digitalization are just some of the examples of ‘Ingenuity for Life’ in action. To learn more about Siemens’ push to digitalize India’s manufacturing sector, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Siemens by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.