Women’s Cricket History and Records
Over the years, women’s cricket in India has advanced significantly from a hobbyist sport to one that is both fiercely competitive and well-liked. Indian women cricketers have demonstrated incredible bravery, skill, and dedication despite numerous obstacles, and they have had a significant impact on the world of international cricket. This article aims to explore the history of women’s cricket in India, highlighting the significant landmarks, records, and accomplishments of the Indian women’s cricket team and illuminating some of the game’s most illustrious figures and up-and-coming stars. This article will examine the development of women’s cricket in India from its beginnings to the present, highlighting the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by women cricketers in the nation.
India’s Women’s Cricket History
For many years, cricket has been a beloved sport in India, and its ubiquity has only increased. Even though men’s cricket has historically received more attention, women’s cricket in India has a fascinating and rich history. From its modest beginnings in the 1970s to the present, when the Indian women’s cricket team is a force to be reckoned with on the international stage, women’s cricket in India has come a long way. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the history of women’s cricket in India, looking at the challenges faced by early pioneers, the emergence of the Indian women’s cricket team, and some of the standout records and achievements that have been made along the way. Come along on this historical journey with us as we learn the inspiring tale of women’s cricket in India.
Women’s Cricket in the Late 90s
In India’s history of women’s cricket, the late 1990s were a crucial decade. Some of the best female cricketers the nation has ever produced emerged during this time. During this time, the Indian women’s cricket team also had some notable victories that contributed to the game’s growing popularity.
India’s hosting of the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup was one of the major events during this time. A significant international women’s cricket tournament was held in India for the first time, and it was a huge success. Eight international teams, including Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Denmark, and India, took part in the competition.
Anjum Chopra led the Indian team admirably throughout the competition, which saw them advance to the semifinals before losing to Australia. The team’s performance, however, captured the attention of Indian cricket fans, who were just beginning to pay attention to women’s cricket in the nation.
The 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were another noteworthy occasion that happened during this time. The Indian team once again put on a commendable performance, coming in second place to Australia in the first Commonwealth Games to feature women’s cricket.
The development of some of the best female cricket players the nation has ever produced occurred in the late 1990s as well. During this time, players like Anjum Chopra, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, and Harmanpreet Kaur made their marks and later became legendary figures in the sport.
- Anjum Chopra, the Indian team’s captain during the 1997 World Cup, was instrumental in leading his squad to the semifinals. She was a key contributor to the team’s success during this time and one of India’s most reliable performers.
- After making her debut in 1999, Mithali Raj went on to become one of India’s all-time top female cricket players. She currently holds the record for the most runs scored in an ODI, among other women’s cricket records. Additionally, she led the Indian team to the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup final as its captain.
- Jhulan Goswami, who made her professional debut in 2002, is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in women’s cricket history. She currently holds the record for the most ODI wickets, among other women’s cricket records. Additionally, she led the Indian team to the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 final as their captain.
- Harmanpreet Kaur, who made her debut in 2009, is known for her aggressive batting style and has been a key player for the Indian team in recent years. She played a crucial role in India’s victory over Australia in the semifinals of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup and is widely regarded as one of the best T20 players in the world.
Women’s Cricket in the 21st Century
Women’s cricket in India continued to develop and gain popularity as the new millennium began. The Indian women’s team reached the World Cup finals in 2005 for the first time ever, but they were defeated by Australia in a fiercely contested game. This performance gave young girls who wanted to play professional cricket in India the hope they needed and brought much-needed attention to the sport.
The Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) Super League, a domestic competition specifically for women’s cricket, was launched in 2006 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which also gave women’s cricket official recognition. The Women’s T20 Challenge is the current name of the competition, which has undergone several name changes. Young and upcoming players have greatly benefited from the league’s exposure, which has given them a stage on which to display their talent.
The Indian women’s team has over the years produced a number of standout athletes who have left their mark on the world stage. The names Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma are just a few of the well-known individuals who have helped women’s cricket in India develop and flourish. Mithali Raj, who has broken numerous records, has been a pioneer for women’s cricket in India. She was the first woman to surpass the 6,000 run threshold in One Day Internationals and holds the record for most runs scored in women’s international cricket.
The Indian women’s team returned to the World Cup finals in 2017; however, this time they faced the hosts, England. The Indian team gave it their all in a nail-biting final, but they ultimately came up just nine runs short. The team’s performances throughout the competition were well-received despite the defeat.
The BCCI has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to support women’s cricket in India. The number of games the Indian women’s team plays has been increased, and a Women’s T20 Challenge has been added during the Indian Premier League (IPL). Three teams competed in the 2020 Women’s T20 Challenge, which was a big step toward giving women’s cricket the recognition it deserves.
Records in Women’s Cricket
Over the years, there have been many outstanding performances in women’s cricket in India, as well as some outstanding accomplishments by Indian players that have made the nation proud. Here are some of India’s most notable women’s cricket records:
- The highest individual score by an Indian player in a Test match was recorded by Mithali Raj, who scored an unbeaten 214 against England in 2002. She became the youngest woman to score a double century in Test cricket with this performance as well.
- Highest individual score in ODIs: In 2018, Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian woman to score a century in a Women’s World Cup match when she scored 135 runs against South Africa. Her contribution to the game gave India an 88-run victory.
- The record holder for most runs in women’s ODI cricket is Mithali Raj. She has 7 centuries and 53 half-centuries, scoring 7,098 runs at an average of 51.81 in 213 games.
- The record holder for most runs in a Test match in women’s cricket is Mithali Raj. In 10 Tests, she has amassed 6,614 runs at an average of 54.97, including seven hundreds and fifty half-centuries.
- Most ODI wickets: Jhulan Goswami holds the record for the most wickets in women’s ODI cricket. She has taken 225 wickets in 182 matches at an average of 21.10, including four five-wicket hauls.
- The record holder for the most Test wickets in women’s cricket is Jhulan Goswami. She has taken 70 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 21.29, including one five-wicket haul.
- Most dismissals as a wicket-keeper: Trisha Chetty holds the record for the most dismissals as a wicket-keeper in women’s cricket. In 124 games, she has taken 169 catches and made 34 stumpings.
- ODI bowling statistics that stand out: The best bowling stat by an Indian woman in an ODI is Neetu David’s 8/53 against England in 1995.
- The best bowling performance by an Indian woman in Test cricket was 10/78, which Jhulan Goswami recorded against England in 2006.
These accomplishments are evidence of the talent and commitment of Indian women who play cricket, and they continue to encourage new generations of girls to take up the sport and pursue excellence.
Legends and Upcoming Cricketers of the Women’s Cricket
In the history of women’s cricket, India has produced many legendary players who have excelled and brought honor to their nation. Here are a few of the legendary players who have made an imprint on Indian women’s cricket history.
- Mithali Raj
Without a doubt, Mithali Raj is the most successful female cricketer in history. The most runs ever scored in ODIs were 7,098 runs at an average of 51.52, making her the leader in that category. 51.52 on average. Additionally, in the 2005 and 2017 World Cup finals, she led India as their captain. Mithali has won both the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shri.
- Jhulan Goswami
Former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team and cricketer Jhulan Goswami are both from India. She is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in women’s cricket history. With 225 wickets under her belt, she is the leading wicket-taker in the annals of women’s ODI cricket. Jhulan was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2010 and the Padma Shri in 2012.
- Anjum Chopra
Anjum Chopra is a former cricketer from India who competed for the Indian women’s team from 1995 to 2012. From 2002 to 2005, she served as the Indian team’s captain. Anjum is one of the most productive batswomen in Indian women’s cricket history, scoring 3,041 runs in 127 ODIs and 2,856 runs in 12 Tests.
- Smriti Mandhana
Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana is currently the vice-captain of the Indian women’s team in both ODI and T20I formats. She is one of the most fashionable left-handed opening batswomen in the world, and in 51 ODI games, she has amassed 2,025 runs, including five centuries and twelve half-centuries.
- Harmanpreet Kaur
Currently serving as captain of the Indian women’s T20I cricket team is Indian cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur. She has 2,186 runs, including one century and eleven half-centuries, in 114 ODI games. She is known for her aggressive batting style. Harmanpreet also holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian woman in a World Cup knockout match, with her unbeaten 171 against Australia in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup.
India has a number of up-and-coming cricketers who are establishing themselves on the world stage in addition to these legendary players. Here are a few young cricketers who are anticipated to guide India’s women’s game in the future.
- Shafali Verma
Young Indian cricketer Shafali Verma is causing a stir in the women’s cricket community with her explosive batting abilities. In 22 T20Is since making her debut for the Indian women’s cricket team in September 2019, she has amassed 617 runs, with a high score of 73.
- Richa Ghosh
Another promising young cricketer from India is Richa Ghosh, who is considered to be one of the sport’s future stars. In March 2021, she made her debut for the Indian women’s cricket team, and since then, her play has garnered praise. In her first matchup with South Africa