With the ICC Women’s World Cup fast approaching the spotlight is on the women’s game. As the ladies soak in the limelight with the live telecast of the games worldwide, this wasn’t the case always.
The graph of women’s cricket’s popularity has seen a gradual increase in the past few years. Earlier there wasn’t much awareness about the sport, nor the larger audience showed interest, but things have certainly changed thanks to the power of social media and the broadcast of the women’s games.
ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups have certainly played a crucial role in developing and popularising the women’s game. Over the years the ICC Women’s World Cup played a key role in changing the narrative about the game in countries like India, Pakistan, and New Zealand.
The Indian team had one such memorable experience in South Africa at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup back in 2005. The women in blue reached their first final but couldn’t lift the Cup, they lost to Australia in the final.
Jaya Sharma who used to open the batting for India then shared her experience of how the success of the 2005 ICC Women’s World Cup was the turning point for the women’s game in India. The official website of ICC quoted Jaya Sharma as saying, ”That [the 2005 World Cup] was something we all as a whole squad can’t forget because that was, I think, a turning point in women’s cricket in India.”
“Most importantly, because there were not many resources, there was not the infrastructure that is present now. We had a bunch of 30 players, and we were preparing for this World Cup for two years.”
She emphasized the significant role fitness played in their performance, and how the whole bunch clicked as a unit to reach the final. Indian Women defeated the defending champions New Zealand in the semi-finals that’s when people took notice of their performance.
Urooj Mumtaz was the captain of the Pakistan Women team when they created history as they made their first appearance at the 2009 World Cup in Australia.
The Pakistani Women team received a warm welcome when they landed at the airport after a good performance in Australia. She said.” There were multiple TV interviews lined up, mornings shows would want us on TV, so I really thought that was when women’s cricket took off there.”
New Zealand is all set to host the upcoming World Cup from March 4.