Indian Women’s T20 Team
The spirited team led by Harmanpreet Kaur lost to Australia in the final of the T-20 Women’s World Cup in March this year but were watched by 86,174 people at Melbourne Cricket Ground as they did so—the highest crowd ever at a women’s sport event in Australia but just short of the world record of 90,186. What’s more, singer Katy Perry was in attendance in the kind of razzmatazz usually reserved for the boys. The team won the imagination of the nation but more than that it proved that women's cricket is not a poor cousin of the big boys.
Now all it needs is for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to recognise this. Despite reaching the finals in both formats (in the ODI World Cup in 2017), the next international exposure of Team India is the ODI World Cup 2022. The neglect by BCCI notwithstanding, cricketers like Mithali Raj (the subject of a forthcoming Bollywood biopic featuring Taapsee Pannu), Jhulan Goswami, Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have become household names. Shows that if you have skill and persistence, even ingrained misogyny gives up after a while.