15th of August 2022, India enters into its 75th year of Independence. Women’s cricket arrived in India much later than it’d originally started in 1934. The Women’s Cricket Association of India was formed in 1973 and was merged with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2006. The Indian women’s team played their first Test match in 1976, against the West Indies.
The game has come a long way ahead and there would be very few of us who remember the firsts of India and so below we’ll look through India’s first across formats.
India’s 1st Test match v West Indies, 1976
India played its first Test against West Indies in Bangalore on the 31st of October. The test saw India bowl West Indies out for 274 and then declare their 1st innings on the score of 269/6 which saw skipper, Shantha Rangaswamy score the highest, 74. India then had West Indies restricted to 101-6 in the 2nd innings, but West Indies got to 175/6 and declared presenting India with a total of 181. There wasn’t much time in the game and with India at 30-1 at the close of play on day 3, the Test ended in a draw. The next couple of Test matches too ended in a draw and then came the 4th Test of the series where India bowled West Indies out for totals of 127 and 88 in the 1st and 2nd innings respectively. In reply, India declared on 161/9 in the 1st innings and got to the required 55 for the loss of 5 wickets in the 2nd innings to bag their 1st Test win by 5 wickets. The fifth Test again ended in a draw and then the final, 6th Test saw West Indies win by an innings and 24 runs which had the series ended in a level 1-1.
India’s 1st ODI game v England, 1978
On the 1st of January, 1978 India played their first-ever One-day international (ODI) game and it was during the 1977/78 World Cup. The 2nd game at the World Cup had India play England at Kolkata. India was bowled out cheaply for a score of 63 and had skipper, Diana Edulji top score with 18 and with the ball it again was Diana with the only wicket. India then lost to New Zealand and Australia and remained winless in the World Cup.
India’s 1st T20I game v England, 2006
India’s 1st Twenty20 game was against England on the 5th of August. India had England restricted to 107/8 in 20 overs and then with the bat, Rumeli Dhar topped the scoring with 66 runs to help India win. Mithali Raj too scored 28 runs in the contests and just couldn’t close it out as India registered the win by 8 wickets with 4 balls to spare. Win on debut on this occasion.
India’s 1st appearance at Commonwealth Games
The moment arrived late but is the most recent memory. India’s first appearance in a multi-sporting event took place in 2022 at the Commonwealth Games where India finished the tournament on a high with Silver medals around their necks. The Commonwealth Games appearance has shown promises of women’s cricket at the Olympics with the possibility of it being a reality in 2028.