In a country with unbridled displays of masculinity in politics, public life and most of all in cricket, women cricketers have not only proven that this game can be played without the vulgar aggression and sledging but that masculinity is simply overhyped. These are achievements bigger than any victory.
Mithali Raj’s team who had captured the attention of the global game during their path to the final were on course to lift the trophy when they reached 191 for three in the 43rd over in pursuit of 229.
The real transformation in Indian women’s cricket goes well beyond the possibility of more sponsorship money flowing in…It lies in the growing recognition and acceptance that Indian women cricketers now are sportspersons in their own right, without needing hand-outs from a male-dominated universe.
Remember, Australia had thrashed India earlier in the tournament. Before the girls left for the World Cup, I told them that “if you perform you, will strengthen my hand. If you don’t perform, then everyone will be at my throat saying ‘what are you talking about women’s cricket?’”
Despite the sudden flurry of wickets, India were still in with a chance with all-rounder Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey in the middle. When the duo added 17 runs from 15 deliveries, they looked like taking India across the finish line, even though it would have been a scamper.