Women's cricket has been around for decades, but cricket still remains a gentleman’s game with respect to the interest people have in it. There’s been more competition, more boundaries, more sixes, more wickets, and more runs since they started, but the audience for women’s teams has only been growing at a snail’s pace.
Royal Challenge has acknowledged this and launched #ChallengeAccepted, a campaign that questions gender stereotypes in cricket. It challenges the belief that women and men’s cricket can never be looked at the same way, because of the perception that women are not as strong, as fast, or as fit as their male counterparts who rally bigger crowds and fanfare.
If you’re someone who believes that our women in blue will not be able to match up to men in cricket, you’re in for a big shock. While there would be plenty more, here are a few recent moments when the Indian women’s cricket team proved to be as good as the men’s with their achievements and performance.
8 iconic moments from the Indian women’s team in recent years
#1. Harmanpreet Kaur played one of her finest ODI innings when she scored an unbeaten 171 off 115, leading India to an imposing victory against Australia in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup in 2017.
#2. India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana became the highest run-scorer in ODI cricket in 2018, with 669 runs in 12 games, at an impressive average of 66.90.
#3. India’s leading pacer and all-time highest wicket taker in ODIs, Jhulan Goswami helped India claw back to restrict England to 228/7 with figures of 3-23 in the World Cup 2017 final at Lord’s.
#4. Mithali Raj slammed a magnificent century against New Zealand in a crucial Women’s World Cup encounter in Derby. The Indian skipper rebuilt the innings with outstanding partnerships with Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy.
#5. Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht put in a high-class performance, when her 5-18 helped India defend a lowly first-innings score, by bundling Pakistan out for just 74. India won the third match of the World Cup by a whopping 95 runs!
#6. Opener Deepti Sharma stormed herself into record books when she came out all guns blazing to smash 188 to set up India’s massive 249-run win over Ireland in 2017. In the same match, a 320-run opening stand between Sharma and Punam Raut became the largest first-wicket partnership in ODI history.
#7. Middle-order batswoman Veda Krishnamurthy scored a crucial 70 run-knock in just 45 balls against New Zealand to help India set up a winning total and eventually qualify for the semi-finals 2017 Women’s World Cup.
#8. Veteran Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami regained the top position for all-time highest wicket-takers in ODI rankings, for the eighth time in her career following her influential role in the team's series win over England recently.
If we want more girls to start looking at professional cricket as a real career option, we need to begin to change the game today! And until we put women and men cricketers on the same field, we are not going to see it as one, equal game.
To break the chains of gender-stereotypes, Royal Challenge is organizing the first ever mixed-gender T20 match, featuring exceptional Indian cricketers from the men and women’s teams. We cannot wait to see how this turns out!
To show your support for equality, cast a vote here! Let’s all accept the challenge, together.
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