Visva-Bharati has decided to form separate women’s teams in different sports for the first time, prompted by denial of permission for a 20-year-old girl to play cricket with boys in a competition.
Megha Das Kabiraj, a second year undergraduate student of zoology at Siksha Bhavana in Visva-Bharati, has been a district-level cricketer for the past two years.
The varsity organised an inter-Bhavana cricket tournament on March 11 where Megha’s name was enlisted as a player. But her name was struck off the list at the last moment.
Megha said she was shocked after hearing the logic to drop her from the team. “I used to practise with boys and they had no problem. I was hurt when I heard that I couldn’t play cricket only because I am a girl.”
She then wrote to vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty about the decision taken by the university’s sports board.
“When the meeting of the sports board was held in February, no one opposed my inclusion in the team. But two days before the match, deputy director of the sports board Sudarshan Biswas denied me permission to participate in the team mainly for two reasons. One, risk of injury for which I took all responsibility. The second reason was the possibility of anyone misbehaving with me,” Megha said.
However, a director Visva-Bharati, who looks after the sports board, Narayan Mondal, said: “The girl had come to me. But we couldn’t allow her to play cricket with men as per university norms. After she approached the VC, a decision was taken to have women sports teams in cricket, kho-kho, volleyball and football.”