Mumbai:England cricket star Kevin Pietersen may have been defending his teammates when he recently said in Bangladesh, "Test cricket is a 'man's game' and 'not a game for girls', but now the stroke maker may need some serious defending as he is to arrive in India to play for the Royal Challengers in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
Pietersen had defended his teammates following accusations that the tourists (England) did not play fair during the recent first Test against Bangladesh. But former women cricketers in India are certainly not amused by the statement.
In the '80s cricketer Sandeep Patil had made some such similar statement, saying girls should be in the kitchen. He then made amends by attending a prize distribution function."
Former India cricketer Diana Edulji said that Kevin had obviously not seen the way the English girls play and termed him a "snooty character". The former cricketer added that, "There is a lot of aggression when women play, there is sledging especially when we play England and Australia. As long as one does not cross a certain line, that is fair."
Former India Test cricketer, Anjali Pendharkar, who is also on the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) committee women's wing, says, "This proves that the male chauvinist attitude has still not gone from the game. I was India team manager when we toured England in 2006. The aggression, the sledging was all there."
Sociologist Nandini Sardesai, wife of late cricketer Dilip Sardesai, asks, "On what basis is he making such a chauvinistic statement? Why is he saying this in Bangladesh? If he said it at home in England, he would be thrashed."
Meanwhile, cricket commentator and former India player, Behroze Edulji goes further, stating, "this is the typical attitude of a fair skin which umpires go gaga over."
Behroze says that Kevin is trying to cover up his own failures, "Today, the England women are tops in the ODIs and T20s, I think he should be proud of the English women and what they have achieved in two years, he should put on a skirt and face all these women.
He would also be better off concentrating on his own batting form. Frankly, I think Mithali Raj (Indian women's captain) plays better cricket than Kevin Pietersen."