Madikeri: For years, cricket enthusiasts in Kodagu — a tiny district in Karnataka — were enthralled by men playing cricket tournaments. However, the game got a lot more exciting as married women’s cricket matches have now taken the spotlight.
In a remarkable event, a married women’s cricket tournament was held on Sunday, November 5, in Chetalli village of Madikeri taluk. The women participants showcased their cricketing prowess at the district-level match, and the atmosphere was electrifying.
In an intense competition, Team Maldare emerged victorious, claiming the title, while Team Master Blaster secured the second spot. These married women, donning cricket uniforms, put aside their daily chores and responsibilities to celebrate the game they love. With cricket bats in hand, they skillfully hit sixes and fours, proving that they were no less than their male counterparts on the field.
The event came alive even further by various food stalls set up by other women and mesmerising dance performances by the cheer team, which left the Chettalli High School ground brimming with excitement.
The Chettalli High School ground witnessed a unique and historic moment, as the 2nd married women’s open knockout cricket tournament was organised by the Chettalli’s Club. A total of 15 married women’s teams, all above 25 years of age, enthusiastically participated in this 6-over tournament.
In the much-anticipated final, Team Master Blaster won the toss and chose to bat, setting a target of 23 runs in the scheduled four overs. Team Maldare chased down this modest total in just 2.3 overs, securing their victory.
Pushpa Kuttanna, a retired principal of K M Cariappa College, lit the ceremonial lamp, emphasising the vital role women play in society. She commended the efforts of the Chettalli’s Club for organising the tournament exclusively for married women, who often balance family life and responsibilities. This marked a historic moment as the first-ever married women’s cricket tournament in the country.
‘Women can excel in any field’
Aichettira Sunitha Machaiyya, the president of the club, stated that it was established in Chetalli in 2010 with the goal of empowering women. Monthly programmes have been organised, and following the success of the tournament last year, they were inspired to host another tournament.
The winners, Team Maldare, received a cash prize of Rs 21,000 along with a trophy, while Team Master Blaster claimed the second prize of Rs 11,000 and a trophy. Kokeri women’s team secured the third prize, earning Rs 6,000 and a trophy.
Individual awards were also presented, with Bharti of Team Master Blaster named the best bowler, Sujitha of Team Maldare recognized as the best batter, and Anjana of Team Sambhrama awarded the highest run-scorer.
This historic event not only showcased the passion and talent of married women in cricket but also highlighted the importance of gender equality in sports, proving that women can excel in any field they choose.
Kodagu, a tiny district, has produced thousands of sportspersons and soldiers for the nation. The annual Kodava family hockey tournament, started in the year 1997, has secured place in Guinness book of World Records as the largest family hockey tournament in the world.