Less than a year ago, the Indian women's cricket team had taken on England in the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup final at Lord's, London. The nation was engulfed in cricket mania as Mithali Raj-led team gave a clinical performance, even though it ended up on the losing side.
Less than a year ago, the Indian women’s cricket team had taken on England in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s, London. The nation was engulfed in cricket mania as Mithali Raj-led team gave a clinical performance, even though it ended up on the losing side. Despite the buzz and hype around the tournament then, seems like not much has changed for the women’s team in India. On Tuesday morning, India gave a brilliant performance to outclass hosts South Africa by 88 runs in the first ODI of the ICC Women’s Championship at Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Monday. While Smriti Mandhana scored a strokeful 84 off 98 balls, the pace duo of Jhulan Goswami (4/24) and Shikha Pandey (3/23) shared seven wickets between them to emerge as the architects of India’s victory.
However, the match wasn’t broadcast on TV. In fact, BCCI did not even deem it tweet-worthy. Not even one post was devoted to the match on BCCI’s main Twitter handle, even though few tweets where posted from BCCI Women’s Twitter handle. It came as a big shock since the teams are ranked number 3 and 4 in the ICC rankings. BCCI said that they do not have the right to produce matches outside India and even though Cricket South Africa posted a 4-minute highlights package on its YouTube channel, the match wasn’t broadcast live. The Indian men’s team is also in South Africa and all the matches are being broadcast live by Sony Television.
The three-match series between the women’s team of India and South Africa will serve as the first-round fixture of the ICC Women’s Championship and gives both the teams a chance to directly qualify for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup.
As shocking as it may sound, this was Indian women’s team’s first ODI match since the World Cup final last year. But in the first ODI, the Indian women never looked short of match practice as they shone brightly in all departments to comfortably outclass the home team.
All in all, it was a complete performance from the Indians in the opener and come tomorrow, Mithali and her team would be eying an encore, which will hand them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. South Africa, on the other hand, would be disappointed with their batting effort after being shot out for just 125 in 43.2 overs.