There are hundreds of articles which will give you reasons as to why you should watch the Women’s T20 World Cup final. This is not going to be one of them.
Because all the convincing that had to be done, has been done by our team already – so at this point, they don’t need to be watched as much as they deserve it.
India’s unbeaten status so far being one of the reasons.
Our women have won all the 4 matches they have played, which is a great achievement in itself, but greater when you consider the threat of intimidating Australian pitches during this time of the year.
So, to even think that one of them – Shafali Verma – had to pretend to be a boy just to get basic cricket training, seems absurd.
Which it is.
She was 9 when her father took her to a cricket academy in Haryana, dressed as a boy, hair really short.
No one was supposed to know who she was.
It is only poetic that just 7 years later, there is no confusing her identity. Neither the name, nor the gender.
If you open ICC’s list of best performing women cricketers in T20Is, you won’t even have to bother moving your eye balls. The 16-year-old sits right on the top.
She is the youngest Indian cricketer to achieve this feat – male or female – which serves as a good argument in favour of women’s cricket being ‘interesting enough’.
A part of me wants to elaborate on this, but I had promised in the beginning that this won’t be one of those articles, so I’ll skip the topic.
If you look at individual performances, you will realise that every one in the team has contributed to victories. If the batting line-up set good totals, the bowling unit – comprising of Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav – defended them well.
So as our women enter the T20 World Cup final for the first time, they have a lot to take pride in. They also have the comfort of knowing that they’ve defeated the same team – Australia – in the first match of the tournament.
By saying that, I don’t want to imply that it will not be difficult. In fact, if there is one thing we can be sure of, it’s that Australianism, probably the opposition’s strongest weapon, works best when they are playing at home.
It won’t be an easy match, but that’s kind of the point.