Army Recruitment Drive Forces India Women's Series Against South Africa To Move Out Of Kerala

Army Recruitment Drive Forces India Women’s Series Against South Africa To Move Out Of Kerala

India Women's series vs South Africa
India Women's series vs South Africa[photo:NDTV Sports]

The Kerala cricket association informed BCCI that about its inability to host India Women’s series against South Africa in March due to the ground made available to the army recruitment drive. The ground has been given to the Indian military without prior knowledge of the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA). Apart from the Greenfield International Stadium, there are no grounds available with Broadcast facilities as explained by KCA.

The Indian women’s team was expected to be in international action after a long break of nearly a year with the schedule of five ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa in March this year. The games are now likely to take place in Bengaluru but still, there is no confirmation on the India women’s series against South Africa officially from BCCI.

India Women's series vs South Africa
India Women’s series vs South Africa[photo: The Week]

Smith Hoping That The Tour Will Go Ahead

South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith told in a press conference that he is hoping that the tour will go ahead and he wanted to have their women’s team a busy schedule for the year. The KCA secretary Sreejith V told that the ground was originally allotted to KCA but suddenly he was informed that it was given to the military. He added that there were no alternative grounds available which was the reason behind moving from the state.

“The talks have been progressing so it is still my hope that is the case, that the tour will go ahead. We are very keen on providing as much content to our ladies as possible. We are working hard on building a busier FTP for them going forward. We are in the process of dealing with the BCCI on it,” Graeme Smith said.

“The series was originally allotted to KCA. The BCCI had informed us in January, and we had begun our preparations accordingly. But the ground has been suddenly given to the army, without informing the KCA or the KCA’s prior knowledge,” Sreejith V, the KCA secretary, told ESPNcricinfo.

“Unfortunately, the army’s recruitment drive is supposed to go on for 20 days or so, and we explored an alternative, smaller ground – the St Xavier’s College ground – for the first two games but appropriate broadcast facilities are not there and all these eight games are meant to be broadcast. So we don’t have an alternative choice”, he added.

graeme smith
Graeme smith[photo: NDTV Sports]

“It’s A Big Loss For Us,” Says Sreejith V

Sreejith expressed his disappointment over not being able to conduct the India women’s series in Kerala after having interests from the sports ministers of the state.

It was unfortunate to move on from the state despite making All the arrangements for the series between the India women’s team and South African women in Kerala and Sreejith mentioned that this was a great opportunity for them to host all eight games in a single venue.

“We tried our level best to conduct the matches here and the chief minister and sports minister of Kerala were very interested to host the India women and South Africa women here, and they intervened directly, and fully supported us.

“So, it’s a big loss for us that we can’t host the series because to host eight international matches at one venue, because of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, was a good opportunity for us, too.”

India women's series
India women’s series [Photo Credit: Twitter]
India women’s series against South Africa will be rescheduled due to the games being shifted to another state and an announcement is likely to be made on it.