There wasn’t a great deal of women’s cricket happening when the young Master-blaster was an active cricketer, doing what he did best: entertaining fans and prompting the question whether “doing the unthinkable with the bat on the 22 yards was even possible!” But of course, we are in an age which is ridden by endless cricketing action, where hardly a day goes by when there’s no active cricket happening anywhere in the world.
Perhaps it may not be entirely incorrect to conjecture that one of the biggest changing narratives of the cricket world post the Sachin, Lara, Kallis, and Ponting era- if one were to put it that way- is the rise of the women’s game. Cricket is changing. Surely, the advent of T20-Twenty cricket has sort of amplified the reach of the sport, drawing huge gains, in particular, for the ladies, whose outstanding talent and skill, have in fact, risen the stature of the sport.
Today, there are more girls out there in India (than there ever were) who wish to bat like Smriti Mandhana and clear the ropes like Harmanpreet Kaur. There are more budding cricketers in Australia who wish to be the next Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning Down Under.
In fact, one may not be overstating it by suggesting that the rise of the women’s game around the world, as seen by the leadership of a Bismah Maroof in Pakistan, the sweltering batting of a Dottin and Taylor in the Caribbean, the rise of Mandhana, and the outstanding all-round game of the Australians conveys the rise and expansion of cricket around the world.
Today, the fan is hooked onto the TV with a Mandhana, Shafali and Harman is on the strike. and when the series isn’t broadcasted, then the fan is on the live score on apps when India are chasing down anywhere in the world or when a Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma, or Arundhati Reddy is derailing the batswomen’s confidence courtesy their white-ball brilliance.
Taking note of this rise in the women’s game, Sachin Tendulkar himself, who just days back was at the epicentre of a key cricketing battle- the Bushfire Bash- in Australia, highlighted the significance of the Indian women’s national cricket team.
The mega batsman, the only one, to this day to score 100 centuries in international cricket lavished effusive praise at the ladies as he said, ” They already have a huge impact, if you see even in 2017, I was watching the finals of the World Cup, which took place at Lord’s and India did well. We were in there till the end, just in the last I thought, the momentum shifted. But from the impact point of view, they had a massive impact and then there are young girls who are picking up a bat or ball, they are being motivated by these players.”
The Mumbai-born legend was also impressed by the impact that the women’s side have made in recent times. Today, the team boasts of the youngest women’s cricketer to have ever batted in an international outing. Shafali Verma was just 15, back in 2019, when she marked her India debut. In fact, not even the great Sachin Tendulkar himself was that young when he wielded the bat in the international stage.
The ace right-hander would further add, “To have the T20 World Cup here in Australia and the finals being played at the MCG, I’m looking forward to it as well and wishing all the best to all the teams, mostly India. I’m sure it will produce some exciting cricket quality will be appreciated by everyone.“