In the last league of Women'snail-biting World Cup, Women in Blue were defeated by the Protea team in a nail-biting thriller. With the defeat, the hopes of the Semi-finals ended, ending India's run in this tournament. A billion hopes were shattered. But what was more disheartening to see was that the two greatest contributors of women's cricket, Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami still without a world cup title to their name despite their immense contribution. One felt sad for Jhulan, who couldn't even play her probable last world cup match.
It's a hard truth one has to accept and move on. There were instances where the team could've done better. When Shafali and Smriti powered India to a flying start, one hoped that India would go beyond 300, but that didn't happen as Protea bowlers did a great job in death overs. Furthermore, India could've done little better in the department of fielding. Poor fielding, allowing the opposition to give away 2 instead of 1, dropping catches is something that could've been avoided. Only a fool would ignore all these and blame Deepthi for the unfortunate no ball in the last over.
But what mattered the most is India fought till the end. The same had happened against our team's encounter with the mighty Aussies too. The Australian encounter was also ber well fought, eventually losing it in the last over. Similarly, the ultimate match of the league stage was one where the fighting spirit didn't drop by one bit by both the teams. As a supporter of one team, it's painful to see their team lose and exit from the tournament, but as a cricket lover, the fighting spirit and the nail-biting thriller one loves to witness.
Furthermore, the ultimate dream to promote women's cricket went an inch closer in this tournament with India's run. With only a handful of women stars like Mithali Jhulan, Smriti, Harman and a few being popular previously, the likes of Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Meghna Singh becoming a household name are a very big positive for the women's game. The contribution of these stars for every match was a major factor for India's run, and they will be responsible for inspiring many women to take this sport.
Also, this world cup might not be to India's name, but a lot of records were created by the team. Mithali became the player to captain the most number of world cup matches. Chakdah Express Jhulan became the highest wicket-taker in world cups, and also scalped her 250th overall wicket. Smriti18-year-old39-year-old crossed her mark of 5000 runs. Another beautiful thing to witness was the 18-year-old Shafali Verma and 39 year old Mithali Raj scoring half-centuries in the same world cup match. All these amazing stats might not bring the title, but will go on to inspire people to watch the game, and girls to take up the sport.
And in this ultimate dream of bringing glory to women's cricket, this world cup did play a role. The rising popularity of these players is the reason why BCCI is eventually thinking of making the dream of WIPL a reality. This will help to promote the game on a larger scale. A world cup victory will do that even further, but with rising talent in the Indian women's team, this is a dream which will be accomplished in the years to come. Speaking of this tournament, the teams could've done better but can hold their heads high and focus on the upcoming events to follow. And speaking about legends Jhulan and Mithali, the duo will be the most respected duo of Women cricketers across the globe always.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
39-year-oldInstagram ID: https://www.instagram.com/cricket_creativity/