The Indian women’s cricket team created history when they qualified for their first-ever finals of the T20 World Cup after their semis clash ended in a no-show. Scheduled to play the England Eves in the first semi-final on Thursday, the Indian team did not take the field as persistent rain lashed Sydney. The match was eventually called off without a ball being bowled and India qualified for the finals on March 8 as they had ended Group A as the top-ranked team.
The day, however, was a significant and special day for the Indian Eves as their parents had headed down to Australia to watch the historical game. Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s parents had especially flown Down Under to watch the Indian team take on England, and though the match ended in unfortunate circumstances, the moment will forever be a memorable one for the players.
It was an even more momentous occasion for Harmanpreet as her parents had headed to the country to watch their daughter play cricket for the very first time. “My parents are here and they wanted to see today's game but unfortunately they didn't get to watch,” Kaur had said.
“It was the first time they were going to watch me playing cricket since my dad did when I was in school, and my mother has never watched me play cricket.
“It means a lot because from day one I wanted them to watch me playing cricket and today I got this opportunity.
“They have come here to watch all of us playing, and I hope we get all support from all the parents and try to win this tournament.”
Her parents though will stay back in Australia for the finals. The day will be extra special for Harmanpreet as March 8 is also her 31st birthday. She will become the first captain in the history of the sport (men’s and women’s) to lead her team in the finals of the T20 World Cup on her birthday.
India’s best-ever performance in the event came in 2018 when they had reached the semi-finals after winning all their group matches in West Indies. They had been thrashed by England then.
Harmanpreet is looking ahead to the finals and she hopes that her side can deliver the goods and get across the line. “We were hoping we’d get there because everybody’s feeling very positive about women’s cricket at the moment,” she said.
“We’ll get a lot of attention back home because everyone wants us to play good cricket and they’re expecting us to do well.
“We will try to give our best. If we win, definitely we’ll get a lot of attention and a lot of love from back home.
“Hopefully, like we got in the 2017 World Cup final, we’ll get the same support from the country for women’s cricket.”