The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Mastercard, the current title sponsor of all international and domestic men's and women's matches in India, on Friday announced that they have jointly launched the #HalkeMeinMattLo (don't take it casually) campaign as part of their ongoing endeavour to support gender equality on and off the field.
The films developed under the campaign depict the journey of top Indian women cricketers -- opener Shafali Verma, all-rounder Harleen Kaur Deol and fast-bowler Renuka Singh Thakur --, highlighting their struggle, hard work and determination to do well.
"India and Australia are among the top teams in world cricket and the contests between these teams have been quite thrilling. Each of their last few games has gone down to the wire and I am sure we will get to witness some top-quality cricketing action in Mumbai as the two teams meet again."
"We are happy to partner with Mastercard for the campaign, which will bring out the stories of hard work, sacrifices and dedication. We want to encourage young girls to pursue cricket as a passion and a career option," said Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI, in an official statement.
The #HalkeMeinMattLo campaign is designed to break stereotypes by presenting the achievements of women cricketers at both national and international levels and highlighting their commitment and passion towards the game.
The campaign will run during the India-Australia Women's five-match T20I series to be played in Mumbai from December 9-20, 2022. The first two matches will be played in DY Patil Stadium, while next three matches would take place in Brabourne Stadium.
"Mastercard has been striving to make sports more inclusive globally. Cricket is the most celebrated sport in India. We commend the BCCI for its inclusive pay policy and are delighted to actively support women's cricket as part of the overall sponsorship of the BCCI home series matches."
"Collaborating with the BCCI to promote women's cricket is an extension of Mastercard's larger commitment to address gender biases and encourage women's participation in sports," said Julie Nestor, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing & Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
India women's team, led by Harmanpreet Kaur, will be playing in a home series after almost 21 months, with their last series at home coming against South Africa in March 2021. They face a formidable challenge in the Alyssa Healy-led Australia side, who are current holders of T20 and ODI World Cups as well as gold medallists in 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.