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ICC Means Business With 100% Cricket Future Leaders Programme For Women

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has come a long way from once being described as nothing more than a “post office” by a former England batsman and renowned Match Referee, Raman Subba Row. The England-born with Indian ancestors, Row, who liked to prove he has Andhra blood in him by biting a green chilly at Mumbai’s Samrat Restaurant, was instrumental in recommending to the ICC that the Match Referee has the last word on the outcome at the toss and confirm which of the captains had called it correctly (Heads or Tails). It was during Row’s time in the 1990s that several regulatory measures were put in place, notably the Players’ Code of Conduct. But more significantly, the ICC took women’s cricket under its wing. Three years ago, in 2018, the ICC under the leadership of Nagpur-based lawyer, Shashank Manohar, took a trailblazing call to bring in Indra Nooyi (Ex-Chairperson and CEO of Pepsico and presently on the Board of Amazon) as the first independent female director. Three years later, Greg Barclay, the Auckland-based commercial lawyer who succeeded Manohar, has founded the innovative 100% Cricket Future Leaders programme designed to support emerging female talent in cricket. Sharda Ugra (mentor); and Vijaylaxmi Narasimhan and Harini Rana (mentees) are the Indians involved in the six-month programme meant to empower women. Others driving the programme are former Australian cricket icon Belinda Clark, and the ICC’s Claire Furlong and Ketaki Golatkar. Lauding the ICC initiative, former India captain and ICC Women’s Committee member for 13 years, Shubhangi Kulkarni said: “As of now, we have hardly any women in leadership roles and in decision making positions in cricket. This programme will give them a foundation to develop their skills in administration, officiating, broadcasting, journalism and other aspects of cricket organisations.”