We do know about countries like Japan and Indonesia winning medals at the Olympics but do we know that the women also see life in the 22 yard circle? We know that Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados host matches but do we know the women who come to cheer at the stadiums are as active on the field as well? So lets take a ride to explore how the women in these countries have been trying to make their mark by doing their bit. The ride has been that of a rollercoaster with ups and downs but the women have made sure that they only learn to get up from the downfall. By now we hope you know what’s coming up? Let’s talk cricket where the land meets the sea!!
Known for its beaches and sunsets, Fiji has always been a popular tourist spot for beach and sea lovers. Delving deep, lets explore the lesser known facts about the beauty. Fiji has been trying to make a mark in the arena of sports. Women of the island have tried to contribute to the same and we would like to acknowledge their efforts and let people know that beyond beaches, the natives also see life on a field. The Fiji Women’s National Cricket Team has been a member of the ICC since 1965 and the game as well as the team goes back to the 19th century. Surprising as well as strange right? Coming into existence in 2009, the first ever women’s team that Fiji announced was in 2010 for a tour to Samoa. A three match series against another island country, it was in 2011 that Fiji announced its second tour which was to Vanuatu. Earlier this year the Fiji Women’s National Cricket Team also won a bronze in the Pacific Games which none of us know about but could not qualify for the ICC Women’s World T20.
Lead by Laura Delany and coached by Aaron Hamilton, Ireland as a team ranks 10th in the ICC women’s ranking. The team played their first International ODI against Australia in 1987 and the very next year also made their debut in the World Cup of 1988. Ireland as a team enjoyed its purple patch between the 1980s and the 2000s. They played their first test in 2000 and defeated Pakistan. They have reached the quarter finals in the World Cup as well but have not been able to make their comeback in the much talked about tournament since 2005.The women of Ireland had always been a foot ahead than their male counterparts making their ODI debut 19 years before the men did. They have been 2 time winners as well as 4 times runners up in the European Championship.
Having made their debut in 2003 in IWCC Trophy in Netherlands, the Japanese lost all 5 matches in the tournament and gave 104 extras and were bowled out by Pakistan for a mere 28 runs. Their next comeback was against Papua New Guinea against whom they played three matches, showed some improvement but lost to their opponents in all the three games. They placed second in the Women East Asia Cup in 2017 and also won a bronze in the 2010 Asian Games.
Also known as Nafanua, the Women’s Cricket Team representing Samoa came into existence in 2010. Many of their players come from Australia and New Zealand. The team makes its appearance in the ICC East Asia-Pacific events regularly and has also come out on top in Pacific Games 2015. Coached by Ian West who has played for the Samoan Men’s Team, the team has been captained by Perelini Mulitalo. Making their international debut against Fiji, Samoa lost all three matches it played against the visitors, however only looked to improve later on.
Mostly known for Football, this country has its girl power making a mark in cricket as well. Hosting a tri-series against Fiji and another team from New South Wales, they’ve also been hosts of the much known about Pacific Games. Showing a steady upwards curve where progress is concerned, the team has also played against the mixture of men and women’s side from the MCC. The team is lead by Selina Solman who has been the first cricketer from Vanuatu to go on an International Player Placement and play first grade cricket in Australia. She has her point to prove in showing the world what this country has where talent is concerned.
SRI LANKA :
Currently playing against India, the team is presently lead by Chamari Athapaththu. This team has a long history which has seen both ups and downs. Seen at all World Cups since 1997, the team played their first ODI against Netherlands in the same year. The team has been coached by Harsha De Silva and off late still have a mark to make. Ranked 8th in the ICC rankings, the women in blue and yellow have also faced Pakistan in their only test in which they defeated the greens.
NEW ZEALAND :
Who doesn’t know about how exciting the white ferns can be? Third in the ICC ranking, the team has a lot of talent which was seen in WCSL played in England earlier this year. With the Women’s World T20 round the corner, it would be fascinating to see what the Amy Satterthwaite lead team has in store. Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine in some classic form, it would be exciting to see what they have on offer. New Zealand as a team has been in amazing touch off late and it would be quite interesting to see where there graph heads in future.
All these teams, big and small have been facing their own challenges. Some of them are countries existing only on sands, it’s definitely not easy to come to the position that they have. Where some are popular and famous there are some who still need motivation, encouragement and acknowledgment. Time and again, these women have shown and conveyed the message that there’s no short cut to hard work and determination. And to be a little different you have think a little apart. We, at female cricket wish the teams luck and give them the best of wishes. Onwards and upwards always!