Women’s cricket has come of age and Indian Women’s cricket has gone miles ahead of International teams as they are trying hard to emulate men in achieving records. Just like Sachin Tendukar, Mithali Raj is close to becoming the highest run getter in ODIs and it is a great tribute after Jhulan Goswami became World’s highest ODI wicket taker. This is after Shantha Rangaswamy and Diana Eduljee making break in women’s cricket as bats woman and a bowler in the past. Indian women’s cricket is coming under BCCI and we can expect more laurels coming in their way in the days to come. When Mithali scored that magical 87 runs it will be the first time two Indians, men or women to hold top positions in batting and bowling Test or ODIs. A rare double can do a world of good for Women’s cricket which came to flourish after 1980s and now is in the top gear and a hot favourite to win the World cup also with so many experienced and record breaking players at our disposal. This is a dream come true position and we hope Mithali Raj and company will encash it to our advantage and keep the Indian flag flying at the International level.
In the recent past we heard about the exploits about men’s cricket team winning matches at home and abroad after Virat Kohli took over reins of captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Now it is time for the women’s cricket team to turn the tables and bring the World cup for the first time. BCCI President readily acknowledged the efforts of Mithali Raj’s side in a clinical victory over arch rivals Pakistan. With a scintillating innings, Mithali Raj sealed the show in favour of Indian side in the first two matches and with her astute captaincy helped the side to win against Pakistan. A score of 169 was enough to win the game by 95 runs. Women’s World cup tournament is a boon, unless the opposition from Australia or England upset India. Pakistan side had fallen prey to the tactics of the side as Team India was on a roll. The team played to a plan bowled and fielded well to contain the opposition with this limited score. The new format helped the home side on a personal high winning three out of three on 50 over format. Mithali Raj’s contribution with the bat made it a high point in her career with a significant contribution and saw the team sail past a strong English side.
As a cricket player, I had a strange experience of facing two women bowlers in a league game on 1st January 1980. I did face them with speculation and helped our side to draw the game and get one valuable point for our team in Chennai, then Madras. The women bowlers were bowling in tandem during the mandatory overs shinning the ball in their pants and I was confidence personified to defend them with grit and determination to hold on till the end. Women’s cricket has come of age and there is no doubt about it.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)