Cricket is the sport we Indians fantasize about. But how many of us cricket lovers know about the Indian Women’s Cricket Team? It came as a surprise to me, and you, too, will join me in admitting that our awareness of the players, their achievements and history is minimal, much to our shame.
Let us lift their spirits and appreciate them for their dedication despite being left de-motivated with low match fees.
1. Though the first women’s cricket match was played in 1934, it took about 40 years for women’s cricket to start in India.
2. The first match recorded of the Indian Women’s Team was the Test Match series against West Indies in 1976.
3. To leverage women’s cricket in India, the Women’s Cricket Association was established in 1973, which later merged with BCCI.
4. In order to promote women’s cricket, WCAI organized an inter-zonal level tournament, Rani Jhansi trophy, in 1974 in Kanpur.
5. Neetu David set a world record in 1995 with 8/53, the best bowling performance in an innings against England at Jamshedpur.
6. The team got its first Test Match victory against South Africa in 2002 on foreign land.
7. Captain Mithali Raj, scored a record-breaking 214 runs in a Test match against England in 2002.
8. The team won their first Asia Cup in 2004. They subsequently won 3 more Asia Cups.
9. Mithali Raj beat Virat Kohli for this year’s Padma Shri award. She is also the recipient of Arjuna Award.
10. Anjum Chopra, with a batting average of 30.44 (Test) and 33.4 (ODI) was one of India’s leading players.
11. Anjum Chopra’s excellence in sport won her the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri as well.
12. Anjum Chopra was the first Indian woman player to score a century in ODI.
13. The Indian team reached the finals of World Cup in 2005, but eventually lost to Australia.
14. Jhulan Goswami set a record of best match bowling figure with 10/78 against England in 2006.
15. Jaya Sharma’s 138* against Pakistan in 2006 is the highest score in women’s ODI cricket.