Women in Blue is the women’s cricket team that represents the Indian nation. The Indian Women’s Cricket Team was founded in 1976 and played their first test match series against West Indies. The team recorded its first-ever Test win against West Indies two years later, in November 1978, under the captaincy of Shantha Rangaswamy at the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium in Patna.
The Women’s Cricket Association of India was formed in 1973 but was merged with the BCCI in 2006 as an initiative to develop women’s cricket. The BCCI represents India at the International Cricket Council, which determines the Indian team’s matches, of both men’s and women’s teams. While the current ODI Captain of the Women’s Team is Mithali Raj, the Test Series Captain is Harmanpreet Kaur.
These are the few facts that not all of us know, owing to the immense ignorance of the women’s team, but there are in fact quite lesser-known facts about the team that all sports lovers, and especially us Indians should know. Thus, here are some Did You Know facts for all.
15 Interesting Facts About the Women in Blue
- The current Indian women’s cricket team comprises players from the age group of 15-40. What a diverse and beautiful team!
- The team is currently ranked fourth in the ICC Women’s Ranking with a total point of 7,662 and a 111 rating, making it one of the top teams in Asia and the world.
- Mithali Raj is the youngest cricketer to score a century (114 not out) on her ODI debut. She was just 16 years old when she played against Ireland!
- Player Jhulan Goswami’s first love has surprisingly always been football rather than cricket. A die-hard fan of Diego Maradona, Goswami was inconsolable when Argentina lost the FIFA World Cup final to West Germany in 1990. Indeed, love and talent are not always the same thing.
- Deepti Sharma has the second-highest individual ODI score in women’s cricket. She has made 178 runs in an innings.
- Opener Punam Raut almost got picked for Mumbai’s U-14 Boys Team when she was just 12 years old. Raut’s coach had sent her for trials to test her skills among boys.
- Jhulan Goswami has the most ODI wickets in Women’s Cricket. She has 185 ODI wickets. Bravo girl!
- Seems like Jhulan Goswami is a surprise box. She has the 2nd highest number of outfield ODI catches in women’s cricket. She has taken 53 outfield ODI catches in her career so far.
- Smriti Mandhana is actually a natural right-hander. On the insistence of her father, she turned left-handed as he was obsessed with left-handed batsmen. Hence, Smriti’s favorite player is the left-handed batsman, Kumara Sangakkara. Huh, choices do reflect on the favorites!
- Current CoA member and former Indian Captain, Diana Edulji broke four front teeth while playing “gully cricket” as a teenager. Well, the incident did not deter her even one bit from becoming a cricketer!
- Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut have the highest ODI partnership in women’s cricket. They scored 320 runs vs Ireland as a pair. Commendable partnership in women’s cricket as some would say.
- Mithali Raj has always been making her team and country proud. She is only the 2nd woman to score over 5000 ODI runs. She scored 5898 runs in ODIs.
- The best bowling figures by a captain in ODIs have been of Mamatha Maben. She has a 6/10 vs Sri Lanka, and I must say that her bowling is a pleasure to watch for all cricket lovers.
- 17-year-old Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian woman to score an ODI double ton in domestic cricket. And she played with the very same bat Rahul Dravid played with when she scored her achievement.
- During the 2009 ICC World Cup in Australia, Harmanpreet Kaur hit such a huge six in the game against the hosts, that her bat had to be sent for checking in the laboratory, while Kaur herself had to undergo a dope test as the authorities were suspicious of the amount of power she hit the six with.
We have a whole talented bunch of women cricketers, who have twice reached the finals of the World Cup and thrice the semi-finals, and yet not many seem to express their sorrow when the Women’s cricket team does not fare well or neither any joy when the team comes home winning laurels. A cricket-crazed nation like India somehow fails to see cricket beyond the men’s team and it is appalling.
Let me entertain you with another fact too. Women’s cricket in India was founded by a man! Yes, a man from Lucknow, Mahendra Kumar Sharma, who formed the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) in 1973.
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team has made their country proud with many achievements, not just by the skipper Mithila Raj or Harmanpreet Kaur, but by all their players fairly. Each has had an immense struggle in their success and has a fair contribution to hold the team together and keep it in a high ranking in world cricket for women. It is time indeed that the Women in Blue are given their due recognition.
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