Australia successfully set off for the women version of the Big Bash League. The day might not be far for India when the cricket crowd would bestow similar craze for Skipper Mithali Raj as they honor Captain Cool MS Dhoni. The women team from India could not withstand the fights with their international counterparts keeping off from their own home grounds. Still, this Women World Cup 2016 bought something for the team which they longed for. In the decisive match against West Indies, which the team lost, cheers and applause they received marked the beginning of a new era of cricket in the country. Jhulan Goswami the pacer, rightly pointed out that there “was something else” which they acquired in the match.
In the faceoff, India Women lost to West Indies by three runs. It was a narrow victory for Indies who posed 114 runs challenging India. India’s chase was weakened in the beginning with Skipper Opener Mithali Raj knocked for a duck in the first ball of the inning. The following batting order amassed some runs down the mid-wicket. However, after Goswami’s wicket in the pre ultimate over, the match went out of hands. Finally, as overs ended the chase was at 111 handing over the victory to West Indies Had there been a little more effort, the result could have been different. Nevertheless, even if Raj’s glee was lost, the approach of the crowd brought renewed tidings for her.
The Mohali Crowd seems ready for the women version of IPL. There were raptures of cheers and jubilant shouts on every boundary by the women players. The audience was completely with the team cheering them on every wicket and scores. It is the first time in India when the media was directed properly on the Women team, even if it was not half of what they does to Men players. There were series of stories posed by media surrounding the women squad. It was as if the mystery of the Women team was unveiled to Indian crowd after the match.
The crowd grew more enthusiastic because of cheers from Men players from India who were waiting for their turn to strike off Australia on the same Mohali ground. The women players had some unusual fans in the match. It was Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli among the audience playing the role of cheerleaders from amidst the crowd. The reverberation of the chants Jhulan..., Jhulan… was started by Yuvraj Singh who initiated the fizz. Virat Kohli started his “India…, India...” only making the crowd to join him with hearty enthusiasm. The whole atmosphere turned into a rare spectacle for the team who are rather not well acquainted with such delights. For Jhulan Goswami, it was a rare experience in her career.
The fervor India Women team received in the match kept the gloom of their defeat at bay. The exuberance of the crowd indicated a strong fad for women cricket in the country, which is beginning to bloom. Nevertheless, there can be no better tidings for Mithali’s girls than this. The acknowledgement and support from Indian fans will certainly bring women cricket to mainstream in the country. The day is not far when youngsters will know about the strikes of Smriti Mandhana, the spells from all-rounder Jhulan Goswami and Mithali’s Raj strategic decisions as good as they know about stunts of Kohli and MS Dhoni.
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