When Women’s World Cup was broadcasted live for the first time in the year 2009, hardly few Indians were concerned about India’s game and most of the us didn’t even know if Women’s cricket ever had World Cups. Forget World Cups, they hardly knew if cricket for Women existed at the International Level and, those who knew, didn’t really bother to appraise or respect, unlike men’s team.
‘From tough times to Glory..’
2017 proved to be an year of Glory for India’s Women, first winning the quadrangular cricket series, defeating South Africa by 8 wickets in the Finals and then finishing up as Runners-up for the World Cup 2017, for the second time throughout all the World Cups.
Although, the year seems fair and wonderful for the Women in Blue, but it was never that easy.
Being among the top contenders for winning the World Cup, India finished 7th in the previous World Cup played in 2013 in India and their selection for this World Cup was a consideration of Doubt. A lot has been changed since then and the Women team has only witnessed improvements by dealing with all kind of challenges.
So Far.. the best Women’s Indian Cricket Team
Though India has always managed to do their best in the big tournaments, but most of the times the team was only dependent on the scores of the Legend Batsmen Mithali Raj, J Sharma and Anjum Chopra. On the bowling side, Jhulan Goswami and N. David paved their way for India’s Win.
Rest of the team showed a glance of support and could not be challenging all the times, lacking consistency. They could perform in one game while their rest of the games in the series would still remain under clouds.
But the unexpected defeat of 2013 World Cup, where they were the Title Favorites, raged up the momentum of team to a different level and a new team India was formed, in fact, with more unity and strength.
Since then, there was no looking back and the team got new stars like Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma, who scored 188 against Ireland this year, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Punam Raut etc.
The team for World Cup 2017, was one of the best team not just because of the names like Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, but because of the hardwork, improvement in fitness level, bowling, fielding, as well mastering the powerful strokes to score big by the youngsters and the commitment and guidance of the senior level players.
This team deserved to win the Women’s World Cup 2017, but certain mistakes at the end of the match cost them the victory. Even then they have managed to impress cricket followers all around the world, with their star studded performance and the ‘never giving up’ spirit, throughout the tournament from the first game till the very end.
Women’s Cricket and the deserving Support in India
The 2017 World Cup was the highest ever viewed tournament by the Indian audience, but their immense support is still not worthy yet. The girls’ cricket doesn’t appeal the audience, much in comparison to male counterpart.
The game of cricket for Men and Women is quite the same with similar rules, but the perks, level of interest and the support is very different.
A boy is highly supported to pursue cricket from his younger days and while representing a national side, he is highly supported and praised by his family and the national audience, whereas, for girls, the scene is quite different.
She can play cricket during her high school or even college days, but when she decides to pursue a career in the same, she is judged and asked to give up that time for her studies or anything else.
Cricket for girls is not the same, as it is for boys. Yes, it is true, girls’ cricket is not as competitive as boys, but what is the reason?
It is the less participation and the lack of support, which impel girls to pursue something else and not cricket, because we ask them ‘Who watch girls’ cricket?’
No matter what happened in the past, this world cup has made sure that the crowd won’t miss any of Punam Raut’s Sweep Shots, Harmanpreet Kaur’s powerful on-drives and Deepti Sharma’s composed all-round execution in the upcoming games.
The performance in World Cup has surely motivated many cricket aspirants to pursue cricket career in future.
Also, BCCI has announced change in salary structure for women’s indian cricket team, with each player in Grade A earning Rs. 15 lac per year and Grade B earning Rs. 10 lac per year, as well as, the cash prize of Rs. 50 lac for each player in the team and Rs. 25 lac for the support staff.
With Mithali Raj stating that ‘she would continue playing for coming 2-3 years, but she won’t play the next world cup’ and same goes for Jhulan Goswami who’s expected to retire soon, the new young team will have tons of battles to fight and a lot to learn to fight better in the next world cup and forthcoming tournaments.