Diana Edulji, former women’s cricket team captain and team manager, has been made named one of the four administrators who are to look after the daily functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). She said that she’s shocked to see that she is the only cricketer in the panel (the others are a historian, a financial executive and an ex-bureaucrat).
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about her:
1. She was part of the first ever women’s cricket team in India, and was the Indian team’s first ODI captain. She is also, thus far, the last Parsi to play for India.
2. She played basketball and tennis at the junior national level before shifting to cricket.
3. The first time she played cricket on a matting pitch at Lala Amarnath’s cricket training camp, she lost four front teeth and part of her top gum. Through the course of her career, she played with a denture, since doctors told her to wait until her playing career was over before opting for a permanent set.
4. She won the Arjuna award in 1983, and the Padma Shri in 2002. With 120 wickets in hand, she is currently the highest wicket taker for India, and the third highest in the world.
5. While captaining India’s tour of England in 1986, Edulji was denied entry into Lord’s Club in London. At the time, she scathingly said that the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) should change its name to MCP (male chauvinist pig).
Edulji has been a strong supporter of the development of women’s cricket, and has come out strongly against the BCCI for its discriminatory treatment towards women players. In the past, she has spoken out about how female cricketers in India are paid abysmally low fees and put up in budget hotels. She’s also talked about disputes she had with other members of the BCCI’s women’s committee regarding increasing match fees for women who have played over ten matches, and the participation of women in Test matches. In her new role on the BCCI administration panel, she said she intends to focus on the development of women’s cricket and the creation of a players association, which is one of the recommendations of the Lodha panel, which she says will increase the independence of the players and give them a platform through which to bring up their concerns to the BCCI.