Cricket, this is the one sport which I live for. I usually connect with this sport in any form, if not able to play, I watch, if not able to watch, read. Cricket is all over in my mind and heart. I started following Women Cricket since 2007 through Cricinfo, but always wanted to see these players live, this desire fulfilled in 2009 when Women World Cup first time televised. I saw Jhulan (highest wicket taker), Mithali (highest run getter) first time. I started enjoying watching them. I enjoyed cricket with beauty. Yes, these players are very beautiful. I remember, I started searching EA Perry, an Australian all-rounder. She was very young by that time but extremely beautiful, still the same. I started following their rankings, stats and amazed to see that out of Ten, four were Indians in Top 10 Batters, Jhulan was always there in Top 10 bowlers list. I felt proud because this is not the case with Men’s Cricket.
Women World Cup 2017, I think this is the time when ICC decided to uplift the game, it was televised and marketed well. WomenInBlue responded very well as well, they started winning match by match. Started the tournament by beating mighty England, then West Indies. But people started praising India when they beat Pakistan, against which we never want to lose. Although in Ranking India was way ahead of Pakistan, but as we lost Champions Trophy against Pakistan in Men Cricket, so winning against them was very soothing. Then we beat Srilanka. But there was no buzz. India lost winning streak against South Africa, an underdog of this tournament. Very few people would know about it that SA captain D van Niekerk is the only player among Men or Women Cricket who has figure of 4/0 (4 wickets without conceding a single run).
Then we have match against Australia, 6 times world champions, we lost very badly. The chances of progressing further of #WomenInBlue was shaken. To proceed we have to beat New Zealand. A mighty one in #WomenCricket. Mithali Raj took the responsibility on her shoulder as always and took India to a big score. Then RS Gayakwad sealed the win by taking five for. We won it by 186 runs, a biggest win ever for us. We were in Semifinals against mighty Australians. I was afraid we might lose, but I know if India played with their potential they could beat them. I bet with one of my friend of my optimism.
I know Australians are beaten by Punjabi so far. If you take a look in history of Men’s Cricket, Australians have been beaten by Yuvraaj Singh in 2007, 2011 world cups, their 16 tests winning streak broken by Harbhajan Singh. in #WomenCricket Harmanpreet Kaur, a great fan of most destructive batsman,Virender Sehwag, took the responsibility, crushed the bowling of Australians and made 171*. Posted highest score of India in worldcup. We won by 36 runs. we are into World Cup Finals. I started dreaming of ,Mithali holding world cup in her hand and revolution in Women cricket is just one match away.
England is the side which we already beaten but one thing to be noticed that they picked up the momentum and did not lose a single match after that. Whenever they batted first, they posted total which is beyond reach of opposition. 377 against Pakistan, 373 against South Africa (a very good bowling unit). I was afraid if they bat first they might post total more than 300 but kudos to Jhulan, supported by Poonam Raut, Deepti. We restricted them at the score of 228. But I know that this is WorldCup final, the match can be won with 200, they had 28 runs extra. The responsibility of batters were more. We proceed well also after losing Smriti (disappointed me a lot after raising expectation) and Mithali (Biggest wicket, like Suicide), Punam and Harman played cautiously and I was thinking we are in home for sure. The score is 197/3 in 44 overs. Punam and Veda were batting. I don’t think that any team would lose from that position but the most challenging part that these girls were playing World cup final first time. Nervousness was building, wanted to win as soon as possible, we started loosing wickets. score became 200/7. I thought we lose but then Shikha and Deepti scored few runs, we were cruising to win and left with just 15 runs and suddenly what happened, Shikha ran for suicidal run and left Deepti to take home. She is very young to bear this huge pressure as she is only 19 years old, Saharanpur girl. We lost by 9 runs.
But what a fight India gave to England, it won the heart of Indians. First time I saw that Indians heart was beating for WomenInBlue. I have seen these girls cried many times but first time I saw whole India was crying for you.
WomenInBlue, YOU DID IT.
Mithali Raj the most composed player I have ever seen after MS Dhoni. Watch her Post match presentation of World Cup 2017 Final