Mithali Raj says girls will be inspired to take up cricket after World Cup showsports Updated: Jul 28, 2017 17:08 IST
Pride mixed with emotion of what-could-have-been as the Indian women’s cricket team was hailed for placing women’s cricket at par with men’s and bringing glory to the country at the recently concluded ICC World Cup, where the team lost the final by nine runs.
The Gandhi and Nehru halls in India House have never seen an Indian women’s cricket team celebrated in the way it was on Monday evening. There were some sullen faces at India failing to win the World Cup, but also much pride at the team’s achievements.
“It has still not sunk in. The match was in our hands, but we will learn from experience. We have presented a different face of women’s cricket. It will help future generations and help women in India to take up sport as a career”, said captain Mithali Raj.
YK Sinha, Indian high commissioner and cricket enthusiast who was at Lord’s for the final, said the team had made the country proud. He singled out the defining knock of 171 by Harmanpreet Kaur against Australia in the semi-final and Jhulan Goswami’s bowling while commending the team effort.
“The knock of 171 – it was a mix of Tendulkar and Kohli. In cricket, you win some and you lose some. But you brought glory to India and to women’s cricket. You have finally placed women’s cricket on par with men’s cricket”, Sinha said.
The performance by Mithali Raj’s side established the consensus hat the Indian women’s cricket team would henceforth be awaited here with as much eagerness as the men’s team.
Comparisons were made with the reception for the men’s team on June 12 in the Long Room of Lord’s during the Champions Trophy. Those who attended both events recalled the celebrity demeanour of some members of the men’s team, while the women’s team was seen as ‘more cohesive’.
However, the rush for selfies with Mithali Raj and members of the team was no less than during the reception for the men’s team. The team later posed for a group photo with the Indian high commissioner in the Gandhi Hall.