Indian captain Virat Kohli is set to team up with other Indian captains Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur to in a bid to break the gender barrier in cricket by participating in a mixed gender T20 match. Royal Challenge recently launched #ChallengeAccepted, a campaign featuring the three aforementioned and Veda Krishnamurthy advertising for a T20 match featuring both genders on the field challenging each other.
In the advertisement, the cricketers can be seen talking about a day when there will be equality. The cricketers are asking the audience to broaden their mental horizon because a day is coming when the women and men will be competing beside and against each other on the cricket field. The progressive video talks about a new beginning while showing Harmanpreet shatter a glass ceiling with a lofted on drive.
The video concluded with the four cricketers coming together to say that they accept the challenge to unite genders in the sport of cricket. The video made by Royal Challenge is asking fans of Indian cricket to support the first ever mixed gender T20 match that the brand will organize with women cricketers and the Royal Challengers Bangalore team.
Talking about the initiative, RCB skipper Kohli said, "Be it men or women, cricket is one game and I want to urge the fans to break the boundaries that exist in their mind that divides the sport by gender. Equality in sports is ultimately a reflection of equality in life and if we want a better tomorrow then we need to say #ChallengeAccepted and start breaking down all stereotypes."
Captain of the Indian women's ODI team, Mithali Raj also lent her support to the campaign while talking about the disparity between the two genders. "Over the recent years, women's cricket has made a lot of progress in terms of earning respect from fans and experts but the playing field is still not equal and the true difference are seen when there is parity in opportunities, salaries, coverage and fan support," Mithali said.
India's big-hitting talisman Harmanpreet said, "People say that women and men's cricket is not equal because we are not able to face the same challenges on-field. To all those fans, I want to say that neither does the idea of facing a ball at 150 kmph daunt me, nor do I worry about the size of the stadium while hitting a boundary. The start to making cricket one game will come from fans saying Challenge Accepted and breaking the barriers in their mind."
While Veda added, "If we want a world tomorrow where girls start looking at professional cricket as a real career option then we need to begin to change the game today. If we don't put women and men cricketers on the same field then fans are not going to see it as one game, hence we are saying #ChallengeAccepted and asking the nation to support the mixed gender match that Royal Challenge Sports Drink is planning."
The date, venue and other such details are yet to be announced but one can support the cause online by voting on this website.