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New Dawn of The Indian Cricket
Feb 7, 2023, 10:00:00 PM

New Dawn of The Indian Cricket

India's U19 women's team won the first ICC Junior World Cup. This is a big step forward for the game. Parents all over the country will start thinking about professional cricket in the coming days because nothing makes a sport popular like a world title. It could be like 1983 or 2007 all over again for women's sports since social media helps spread the word about the new champions. The women's IPL came right after this victory and couldn't have come at a better time. The senior team has also always made it to the semifinals or finals of the ICC 50-over and 20-over World Cups. This gave the BCCI enough confidence to move forward with plans for a women's IPL.

Story of Hardships

The backstories of these teenage world champions show that cricket is still a way for lower and middle-class families to reach their goals. People worldwide know that sports are fair and can be an alternative way to make a living. But don't be fooled: the journey hasn't been easy for most young women. On top of their parent's financial problems, they had to deal with bias and gender stereotypes. These stories also show that Indian parents are just as willing to take a chance on girls playing cricket as they are on boys. This alone will bring in more talented players and make up for how slowly women's cricket has grown compared to Australia and England. No one will dare to question what women cricket players can do and how far they can go in the future. They've already shown they can go the whole way, so there's no reason not to put money into their training.

But the last frontier has yet to be reached. Australia is still the team to beat for seniors, just like men. The women of India have lost a lot of finals to the women of Australia, and the difference in standards is real. The women's team has never won an ICC title at the senior level. Still, despite the close calls, cricket in India is now becoming truly inclusive as women assert their power and an equal stake in the country's most popular sport, whether they watch or play. It would be great if the senior ICC title became harder to get, just like it is for men's sports. But today is the day to celebrate what a great thing the feisty eleven did.

All Eyes on The Prize

Shafali Verma had tears in her eyes after another World Cup final. At Potchefstroom, Shafali was the captain of the first team to win the ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup. She cried happy tears as she held up the trophy. Shafali was already a big name in international cricket, and she was one of two Indian players who could play at the Under-19 level. The other was Richa Ghosh. After leading her new team to an ICC title, the 19-year-old is considering the T20 World Cup for seniors next month.

Shafali has already played at the highest level in the T20 World Cup (Australia 2020) and the ODI World Cup (New Zealand 2022) as part of India. One of the most memorable pictures from the T20 World Cup final, played at the MCG in front of a record crowd of 86,174 people for a women's game, was of 17-year-old Shafali crying after India came in second place, far behind Australia. She hopes to change that memory this time when she goes to South Africa.

Shafali's batting at the U19 World Cup didn't exactly set the world on fire, but she still ended up with 172 runs, which was good enough for third place, well behind her opening partner Shweta Sehrawat, who had 297 runs. She wants to fix her batting average when she moves back up a level. "I will try to get India more runs, and I won't be happy with this Cup. This is only the start, "she told me.

Nooshin Al Khadeer, her coach at the U19 level, was especially happy that the World Cup win wasn't just Shafali's show and that there were match-winners all over the team. For example, spinners Parshavi Chopra (12 wickets) and Mannat Kashyap (9 wickets) were among the tournament's top wicket-takers.

The Tale of The Finals

India Under-19 beat England Under-19 by seven wickets and won the first Women's Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom. Titas Sadhu, Archana Devi, and Parshavi Chopra each took two wickets, and Gongadi Trisha and Soumya Tiwari scored well. In the 14th over, India U19 reached a small goal of 69.

Even though India had already lost Shafali Verma and Shweta Sehrawat by the fourth over, they were mostly in cruise control. Trisha and Tiwari worked together to make a 46-piece stand, which pretty much sealed the deal. They did the drive, the flick, and the cut to keep the scoreboard going. Tiwari also got a break when she was dropped off at Hannah Barker's house.

Alex Stonehouse's left-arm medium-pace bowler eliminated Trisha in the 13th over. Tiwari hit a double and a single in Barker's next over, which helped India beat England's score. Shafali and the rest of her team ran onto the ground, and people in Potchefstroom were very happy. One could also see a few players with tears in their eyes.

The bowlers set up the victory. Sadhu got rid of the dangerous Liberty Heap in the first over, and the opener hit a return catch that was easy to take. The off-spinner Archana Devi hurt England even more by getting rid of Grace Scrivens and Niamh Holland in the same over. Scrivens's loss was mostly because Trisha made a great catch in long off.

England Under-19 kept losing wickets regularly, and by the end of the 18th over, they were all out. Ryana Macdonald Gay, an all-rounder from Kent, scored 19 runs to lead England. In the end, and as was expected, England's small score wasn't enough.