The Indian women’s national cricket team, nicknamed the women in blue, represents the country of India in international women’s cricket. Team owners of the Indian women cricket team are the board of control for cricket in India and its two prominent players are Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. The team is currently ranked fourth in ICC women’s rankings with a total of 7,662 points and a rating of 111. The Indian team is today is one of the top teams today in Asia and the world. It has shown tremendous improvements in the last few years and has proved their mettle on various occasions. Women’s cricket association of India was merged with the board of control for cricket in India (BCCI) in 2006.
MITHALI RAJ: THE CAPTAIN SAILING THE SHIP
Mithali Dorai Raj was born on 3rd December 1982 and is an Indian cricketer and the captain of the Indian women’s national cricket team in tests and ODI. She is often regarded as one of the greatest batswoman to have ever played the game .she is the only player to have captained India in more than one ICC, ODI world cup final doing so twice in 2005 and 2017. She is the biggest example of breaking the stereotypes and moving ahead with the feminism being alive in her. Along with being a prominent cricketer she is also a Bharatnatyam dancer. She received Padma Shri award from the respected president Pranab Mukherjee then in 2005 in Delhi.
CRITICISM AND CRICKET
The idea of introducing a national women’s cricket team in India produced a lot criticism in the entire nation. Girls playing cricket was a term that was considered as a myth back then. The basic mentality of everyone back then was that males were superior in playing sports and people thought women were too timid and fragile to practice in the sun and rain, to run and were considered too weak to have their own cricket team. On the other hand England already formed a women’s cricket team and was making them practice for the ODIs and T20’s! But when after facing a lot of hardships the Indian national women cricket team was formed, the critics thought that there was hardly any competition in the women’s game outside of the big four: Australia, England, New Zealand and India. The truth is women’s cricket will continue to struggle for relevance for reasons other than the player’s skills!
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IS THE CRICKET TEAM STILL CONSIDERED WEAK TO BE NOMINATED FOR IPL?
Indian audiences woke up to a phenomenal display by their women’s team in the world cup in 2017. They defied the odds to reach the final which they lost to England .Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Poonam Raut and Veda Krishnamurthy became household names. Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami , flag bearers of the women’s game in India for years, finally got their due.
Mithali Raj in her recent interviews stated that, I feel they should start a women’s IPL by next year, even if it is on a slightly smaller scale and with some changes in rules, such as, say, have five to six foreign players in the first edition instead of four as is the case with the men’s IPL. Mithali Raj is feeling that BCCI is not considering the idea of IPL and is stated that BCCI should not wait forever to organize the women’s IPL.
So, even after so many achievements by The Indian national women cricket team BCCI is still considering them to be lacking somewhere or it is their stereotypical mentality that is making them to not let the women cricket team reach an international level?
Mithali’s comments came after India finished runners up in women’s T20 world cup final in Australia. Harmanpreet Kaur’s team was completely outclassed by hosts Australia who went on to win their fifth T20 world cup trophy in front of an 85,000 strong crowd at the Melbourne cricket ground.
Notably the BCCI has hosted women’s IPL exhibition matches in the last 2 years and in response to Mithali Raj has said that a full fledged women’s IPL tournament will take some time to take shape.
Hope we get to see women’s IPL till next year to see our women breaking the stereotypes and crossing the sky limits by achieving a lot of victories!