AFTER DECADES of playing second fiddle to their male counterparts, the Indian women’s cricket team captured the nation’s imagination for three exhilarating weeks this July. Harmanpreet Kaur unleashed a breathtaking assault, scoring an unbeaten 171 off 115 balls against Australia in the semi-finals, and Punam Raut established herself as the bedrock of the top order, top-scoring in the final.
Kaur and Raut, along with former India captain-turned-administrator Diana Edulji, will be the guests at Express Adda in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Edulji was the only cricketer picked by the Supreme Court as a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the Indian cricket board. With the CoA entrusted with implementing the Lodha panel reforms and engineering a change in the BCCI constitution, in line with the directions of the Supreme Court, the former all-rounder has a lot on her plate.
With captain Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami having announced that they have played their last World Cup, Kaur and Raut are the new faces of Indian women’s cricket.
Kaur’s innings against the six-time world champions is considered a seminal moment for Indian women’s cricket, with some comparing the knock with Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup. Her strokeplay, poise and hitting ability are pointers to the direction the women’s game will take in the future.
Though the Indian women’s team reached the World Cup final in 2005 as well, that achievement did not make heads turn like their recent exploits in England. Already, there is some talk about starting a women’s IPL in the not-so-distant future.
Kaur, Raut and Edulji will be in conversation with The Indian Express Deputy Editor Seema Chishti and Assistant Editor Bharat Sundaresan.
The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features people who have been at the centre of change. Guests at the event in the past include the Dalai Lama, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, filmmaker Karan Johar, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, writer Amitav Ghosh and cricketer Virat Kohli.