In­dian women team win hearts af­ter gutsy WCup

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

In­dia’s women’s team was hailed at home for their gritty show­ing at Lord’s af­ter just miss­ing out on mak­ing his­tory in nar­rowly los­ing to England in the World Cup fi­nal. Mil­lions of cricket-crazy In­di­ans watch­ing the match on big screens across the coun­try were left heart­bro­ken as their team fell short of their 229-run tar­get by just nine runs in a thrilling fi­nale on Sun­day. Af­ter an im­pres­sive start In­dia’s bat­ting im­ploded as the Mithali Raj-led side slipped from 191-3 to 219 all out in 48.4 overs. England pace bowler Anya Shrub­sole led the charge with fig­ures of 6-46 — the best recorded in a World Cup fi­nal.

But trib­utes flowed from the prime min­is­ter and cricket leg­ends for the “Women in Blue”, who of­ten miss the lime­light hogged by In­dia’s men’s Test side. “Our women crick­eters gave their best to­day. They have shown re­mark­able tenac­ity & skill through the World Cup. Proud of the team!” Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi wrote on Twit­ter.

Cricket icon Sachin Ten­dulkar con­soled the team on their World Cup dis­ap­point­ment, the sec­ond time they have missed the cup af­ter go­ing down to Aus­tralia in 2005.

“Feel for all of you, #WomenInBlue! You were good through­out but some­times it is not meant to be. Con­grats England on win­ning,” Ten­dulkar wrote on Twit­ter.

In­dia’s men’s 1983 World Cup-win­ning cap­tain Kapil Dev hailed the women’s gutsy show­ing as a vic­tory for girls across the sub­con­ti­nent. “Mithali’s team too has won the hearts of the na­tion. I know that not ev­ery daugh­ter will be­come a cham­pion, but I am sure that the mind­set of par­ents is bound to change now,” Dev was quoted as say­ing by The Hindu news­pa­per. “Hon­estly, I was not a keen fol­lower of women’s cricket, but I am their big­gest fan now. I am sure... peo­ple will pray to be blessed with daugh­ters. Hats off to them.”

The front page of the Hin­dus­tan Times news­pa­per de­clared: “In­dia take big steps, fall just short of giant leap.” The Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia an­nounced a cash prize of $800,000 for each player af­ter their semi-fi­nal vic­tory over Aus­tralia last week. Those crick­eters work­ing for In­dia’s rail­ways-there are 10 mem­bers of the squad em­ployed by the state-run trans­port body-will re­ceive au­to­matic pro­mo­tions, lo­cal me­dia re­ported. Cap­tain Raj has been promised a BMW by a for­mer cricket se­lec­tor.

LON­DON: In­dia’s Jhu­lan Goswami (C) waits to re­ceive a run­ners up medal af­ter los­ing the ICC Women’s World Cup cricket fi­nal be­tween England and In­dia at Lord’s cricket ground in Lon­don.

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