Celebrate woman power
The sense of despondency prevailing in the country after India lost the Women World Cup-2017 finals at Lords on Sunday is somewhat uncalled for. It is perhaps a characteristic trait with the fans that they are so overwhelmingly caught in the vortex of a make-believe invincibility of their heroes that a setback comes not just as a dampener to their expectations but as an incomprehensible shocker. A
The sense of despondency prevailing in the country after India lost the Women World Cup-2017 finals at Lords on Sunday is somewhat uncalled for. It is perhaps a characteristic trait with the fans that they are so overwhelmingly caught in the vortex of a make-believe invincibility of their heroes that a setback comes not just as a dampener to their expectations but as an incomprehensible shocker. And that is the tragedy of Indian sport, whose athletes always strive to give their best shot and win laurels for the country.
Rather than lament the ‘so near yet so far’ tragedy that befell the gutsy girls, everyone needs to celebrate the exemplary showing dished out by them. Yes, they flattered to deceive and wilted under pressure. But that should in no way diminish the wonderful performances, particularly the clinical precision with which they gave the marching orders to defending champions Australia in the semi-finals.
Didn’t the Men in Blue bounce back after Sourav Ganguly’s famed team came a cropper in the summit clash of the 2003 World Cup? The fact of the matter is that before embarking on the tour, Indian women were not even expected to be there in the last four.
Taken pragmatically, India actually gifted the match because the players (most do not have any international exposure worth the name) could not rise to the occasion. It is also a fact that they were nervous wrecks because they had never played before such a massive spectator turnout, which also did them in. Another factor that hit them psychologically was the haste with which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced financial bonanza to the players for having made it to the championship clash.
The players deserve the incentives but the announcement could have waited a couple of days. No Board announces jackpots in the middle of any tournament and for obvious reasons. Both the twitter-crazy celebrities and the media have also to shoulder the blame for the manner they eulogised the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaul, Raut and those who did well. They should remember that such well-intended bouquets when the players are still there battling it out for more glory will have more damaging effects than damning brickbats.
There is no denying that the team will be praised, rewarded and taken out in massive open-top rallies on their return. Mind you, this euphoria will not last for more than a fortnight because women cricketers are no patch on the men, goes the wisdom of the BCCI officials, who have ignored the very existence of women cricketers, which, hopefully will change following the latest turnaround.
With lucrative sponsorships coming their way, hopefully the BCCI will recognise, promote and popularise women cricket and provide a lucrative career-aspiring springboard so that parents and guardians will not think twice when their daughters desire to turn cricketers. In a nation where a girl-child still faces social stigma, this would be the perfect salutation to the glorious chapter scripted in London by Mithali and her band.