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Millennium Post

Our girls, the real heroes

Our girls, the   real heroes

Despite a nail-biting defeat in ICC Women's World Cup final at Lords, the achievements of the 'women in blue' are greater than any victory; especially in a country with intemperate displays of masculinity in politics, public life and most of all in cricket. It is a 'feel good' moment for the whole country. Brushing aside all the tall claims that the Indian girls would not be able to move beyond the league matches – they forced the entire lot of otherwise Kohli & Co fans and 'Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' soap-opera viewers of Indian TV screen world to witness their performance at Lords on Sunday – equipped with hopes and charms. The Indian media usually does not sap their strengths in making the heartaches and breakups of male cricketers as headlines, but for them, their women counterparts competing at the highest international level in the World Cup is not as newsworthy. However, this time the adage of Aamir Khan's blockbuster 'Dangal' i.e. "Mhari chhoriyan chhoron se kam nahin" caught journalists' attention! When the team reached the finals with Harmanpreet Kaur's hurricane of hitting against Australia, stories of their glories began to circulate and the fans began to take them out from their anonymity.

Cricket is no longer a sport of the colonial elite. This game has now democratised from metropolitans to tinsel towns and sleepy hamlets. There is the resurgent, confident "new India" with a deep dislike for nepotism, entitlement, and privilege – much on lines of Kangana Ranaut's controversial stand. This women's cricket team represents this "new India" as most of them have made very arduous journeys from small towns and highly patriarchal communities to the international stage only through their abundant talent, the sheer dint of hard work and also the remarkable support of their unconventional families. Right from Deepti Sharma of Saharanpur to Harmanpreet Kaur of Moga and from Ekta Bisht of Almora to Jhulan Goswami of Nadia, all of them belong to places that are not on the cricketing map of India.
In1983, India played the cricket World Cup finals at Lord's as the underdogs. In 2017, India played the cricket World Cup finals again at Lords – again as small fries. But, our girls made the way to showcase their talent on the ground – once owned and allowed for only 'male' English gentlemen. But, did our girls get proper support from their own Cricket Control Board. Even after the merger of Women's Cricket Association of India (WICA) with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2006, the 'prosperous' BCCI considered women's cricket insignificant and proved to be a virtual 'miser' in making investments as well as planning and scheduling to nurture women's cricket. Surprisingly, salaries and remunerations of Kohlis are at least 1,000 times higher than Mithalis. Let us hope after this feat at Lords, our girls would no longer remain the poor versions of their male counterparts.

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