It is needless to say that there is a big gulf between men's cricket and the women's game in terms of exposure, media coverage, people's interest and to be honest, quality of play. Despite the honest efforts of the ICC and the broadcasters, women's cricket still today hardly gets substantial coverage. So, while the men's rhetoric generally goes: 'We are here to win the title or you can't take any team lightly in the T20 format'; the women cannot afford to assert anything past: 'We are here to serve notice and thereby develop the women's game'.
And that was the overriding theme of a pre-tournament 'joint press conference' for the women's team of Bangladesh, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Ireland at a city hotel yesterday.
“Women's cricket isn't professional at all in Ireland. We aren't paid for training or anything. We are either full-time employees or full-time students,” said Isobel Joyce, the 30-year-old Ireland captain, who also has a sister in the side while brother Ed Joyce – much more renowned than the sisters -- plays in the men's team.
Joyce is happy to get whatever exposure they can get here so that people back home do realise they are representing the nation and people worldwide take notice. “We don't get huge exposure in Ireland, be it men's cricket or women's, so I guess the exposure we will get here will be more than what we get back home,” Joyce said with a witty smile.
None of these four teams are being considered to challenge for the title. While West Indies are aiming at a maiden final appearance, hosts Bangladesh and Sri Lanka concede they will be more than happy if they reach the last four.
“We are willing to give the country something good and our target is to reach the semifinal stage,” said Bangladesh skipper Salma Khatun.
The 10 women's teams may have different targets for the World Cup, but their ultimate agenda remains the same -- to garner recognition and support.