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PARIS: The sleepy octogenarians of Lord’s might struggle to grasp it, but there’s more to women’s cricket than scantily-clad dancers at the IPL or admirable sponge cakes in English village pavilions.

Just ask Pakistan all-rounder Sajjida Shah, who was playing international cricket when she was only 12 or a team-mate of hers who went on hunger strike to protest against her parents’ objection to her playing the game.

Or they could wonder why women held a World Cup tournament two years before the men and why the first international Twenty20 match was played between two women’s teams.

Appropriately, the inaugural Women’s World Twenty20 is being played alongside the men’s tournament with the final at Lord’s on the same day as their male counterparts on June 21.

‘Women’s cricket is definitely on the rise. Since the ICC took over the women’s game in 2005, the number of countries playing women’s cricket has quadrupled,’ said International Cricket Council’s (ICC) manager for cricket operations, David Richardson.

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