On Sunday, 5th December 2016, the Indian women’s cricket team scripted history. The team, led by new captain Harmanpreet Kaur, won the Asia Cup for the sixth time, defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in Bangkok. This was the sixth consecutive Asia Cup title won by the Indian team and yet there was hardly any euphoria witnessed on social media or television.
That the Indian eves are overshadowed by the men in blue is common knowledge. Whatever opportunity that they get on the international stage, they are asked to make it count and even when they do come up triumphant, this is how they are treated by the mainstream media, let alone the administrators who have only just now woken up to the potential of women’s cricket.
For those wondering why it was such a big feat and why the Indian team needs to be applauded for the title win, here are some stats for the uninitiated –
- This was the sixth consecutive Asian Cup title win for the Indian women’s cricket team, no other team has won the title since it began in 2004.
- The Indian team has now stretched its unbeaten run in the tournament to 32 matches and by any standard it’s fucking huge.
- India has now defeated Pakistan in the last two finals of the Asia Cup to clinch the title; they had also earlier defeated Pakistan in the league stage in this year’s tournament.
Mithali Raj, the veteran player who was at the helm of affairs in the Indian team for World T20, was the most impressive player for India. She scored 220 runs in four innings and was the top scorer in the tournament. The second in the list, Pakistan’s Javeria Khan had scored 128 runs in six innings. While this feat of Raj deserves all the accolades, the gender disparity in the same sport can be seen from this tweet of Virender Sehwag congratulating the Indian women’s team.December 4, 2016
The number of retweets on this post by Sehwag is five times the number of followers on Mithali Raj’s twitter account. This goes on to show that no matter how well the Indian team performs, it still has a long way to go before even matching up to the popularity of India A men’s team. Till then, however, no matter the results we can at least stand up and applaud the hard work that the team put in to represent India on the international stage.