Gangtok: Even as cricket fever builds up for the 2011 World Cup that will see 16 teams in action in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, of late, in a first of its kind event, women in Sikkim are showing a keen interest in playing the sport.
The sport that once was a alien to them, is a much sought after event in the state, with young girls now coming forward to play it.
Sikkim Cricket Association General Secretary Tika Subba said women are showing an interest in the game.
"There has been a major progress in the field of cricket in Sikkim. Unlike earlier, when we used to play cricket, hardly anybody knew about cricket, how it is played. But now, because of television, the public has come to know about how it is played," Subba told reporters.
"Slowly and steadily girls are also getting interested in playing cricket. The boys have been playing it for long," he added.
Women cricketers are confident of performing well at the national level.
"Definitely girls can do well in cricket on national level. The game is very good, and girls can learn it fast as well. It demands dedication, and all the girls, who are here, are extremely dedicated, and they all practice it very well. So, I think, it is possible," said Kikam Bhutia, a women cricketer.
Sikkim Cricket Association, which is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is involved in the conduct of the game from the grassroot to the international level.
The Sikkim Cricket Association conducts various league tournaments for different age groups, besides organising and conducting national tournaments.
The growing popularity of the game among women has prompted the Department of Sports in the state to open more centres.