Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the Indian Premier League franchise, on Thursday, became the first team in the tournament to hire a woman support staff. The team captained by Virat Kohli appointed Navnita Gautam as their Sports Massage Therapist. “Navnita Gautam joins us as a sports massage therapist for the 13th edition of IPL. She will work to identify, and implement massage therapy to help the team prepare and recover better. We are proud to be the first IPL team to have a woman support staff member,” RCB tweeted.
Navnita will join the head physiotherapist Evan Speechly, and strength and conditioning coach Shanker Basu, to implement massage therapy. She will also be responsible for performing specialized techniques pertaining to the preparation, motivation, overall supervision and all individual physical ailments relating to the team.
“I am very pleased to be a part of this moment in history and another step in the right direction. The game has come a long way, in many ways, in terms of the Women’s Cricket Team and how many people are watching it, the interest was long due,” Chairman of RCB, Sanjeev Churiwala, said in an official statement.
“Sport is a great enabler, but it is important to ensure that the principles of equity in participation also extends to its staffing bodies. Increasing participation and success by women in all sporting arenas have made this possible and we at RCB are very thrilled to have found great talent in Navnita,” he added.
In August, RCB roped in Mike Hesson as their Director of Cricket Operations and Simon Katich as the new Head Coach.
For 12 straight seasons, RCB have failed to earn the IPL trophy despite having some of the finest players in their ranks.