#MeToo movement in cricket

There are an increasing number of sports reporters who are women and they face a tough time in the testosterone-filled world of male professional sports, not just from players but from fellow reporters and even spectators and fans. Cricket is no exception and Sharda Ugra writes that the #MeToo movement has tackled this problem.

I have been in cricket journalism for nearly three decades and find, to my great distress, that there has in no way been a reduction in cases of harassment, bullying and intimidation of young women in the sport. The growing footprint of television appears to have added to the subculture of low-intensity predatory behaviour.

While “growing up” in the job, many women in the media regarded inappropriate language, and even actions, from men around them – including cricketers – as part of the “culture” of the industry, which they would just have to get used to. In an unspoken alliance, women coped by warning each other about the lowlifes they needed to avoid. And then being grateful if they got through their twenties into an older age of confidence without any Weinstein-degree scars.

This was the 1990s. Alpha males roamed the jungles, stories of drunken hijinks abounded. I interviewed cricketers in their personal spaces – hotel rooms, bachelor apartments, and once in a dressing room where the player in question lay face down on a massage table, with a towel over his rear end.

Whatever my experiences as a young journalist in the 1990s, it is not that other women in the field didn’t talk about their stalker scenarios. There were numerous ants-in-the-pants bounders.

Like the player who would be all respectful in public and sleazy in private. Like the extra-considerate senior colleague who always focused his touchy-feely attentions on the newest female entrant in the press box.

Ugra says that the authorities are now taking action on the complaints, like fining West Indian batting star Chris Gayle, and that is a good beginning.


  1. says

    Why is cricket testosterone-fuelled? It doesn’t look like it’s particularly a sport of big muscles -- shouldn’t women be able to beat men, with practice and skill?

  2. Holms says

    No. It looks slow, with only short bursts of activity, but those bursts are demanding all the same. Batting requires upper body strength for big hits and the ability to accelerate to a sprint quickly while wearing lots of padding; (pace) bowling requires a lot of exertion while at a dead run and can be very wearing on the shoulders; fielding requires sprints, dives and a fearsome throwing arm. Women can and will equal men in the areas that require finesse, but not the areas that require brawn.

  3. Mano Singham says

    Also, it has been an exclusively male sport for a long time. It is only very recently that women’s teams have been playing at an international level and schools, which provide the farm teams, very, very rarely field women’s teams.

  4. says

    It looks slow, with only short bursts of activity, but those bursts are demanding all the same.

    Makes sense. I realize that the small bits of cricket I’ve seen are probably shot with a telephoto lens, which tends to compress the apparent distances. So if muscles and endurance are an advantage, there must be doping scandals?

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ Marcus
    You need to see a live cricket game just as one needs to see a live hockey game to appreciate the size of the pitch or rink and what the players are actually doing.

    To be honest, most cricketers look to be just standing around like most baseball players seem to be, but the bowler, in particular, is wildly impressive and I have only seen Canadian amateur games—admittedly usually, played by fugitives from Britain and the Indian subcontinent. A bowler is putting a lot more energy into the throw than a baseball pitcher.

    The batters, especially when hitting the ball for six (roughly equivalent to a home run in baseball?) are putting a lot of muscle into the hit. And as far as I can tell (Mano?) a batter can be at the wicket for what seems like forever. It can be an endurance sport.

  6. Mano Singham says


    In theory, in international games, a batter can be batting for five days for six hours a day without getting out. But that has never happened and will never happen because his team captain will “declare” (i.e., voluntarily end the innings) so as to give his side enough time to bowl the other side out. The longest innings by a batter was 970 minutes by Pakistani Hanif Mohammad.i.e., 2 days, 4 hours, and 10 minutes. The most runs scored by a batter in a single innings was 400 by West Indian Brian Lara.

  7. jrkrideau says

    Thanks Mano.
    I thought there was no theoretical reason for a batter to be out but I was not sure. I guess I was right Cricket can be an endurance sport.

    His team captain will “declare” (i.e., voluntarily end the innings) so as to give his side enough time to bowl the other side out

    Clearly something only someone raised in Cricket from the age of about 3 years can grasp. It reminds me of my Guyanese officemate who’s explanations of cricket tactics and strategy left me totally confused.

    I still like watching the game even though I have no idea what is going on. Huum, a bit like Curling.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’ve been watching some Rugby Sevens matches the last couple of days (World Cup, San Francisco), men’s and women’s. Bloody good fun! I’d guess women have made much further strides in rugger than cricket.

    Right now, Fiji’s leading NZ 12-10 in a men’s semi. Oh, NZ try as I write…

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