9 Famous Indian Women Cricketers Over The Years
Cricket is the most popular sport in India. The sport first gained popularity after the Indian men cricket team won the 1983 world cup. And after that, there was no looking back and the sport came to be followed as a religion and the players as celebrities. Because of an early start and early heroics, the Indian men cricket team has always enjoyed a greater coverage and following. But, with the recent heroics of the Indian women cricket team and a conscious effort by the BCCI to bring women cricket into the mainstream a lot of female cricket players have also gained popularity. This article will speak about a few famous Indian women cricketers over the years who did their best in their job and proved that women were never lesser than men.
Famous Indian Women Cricketers during the Early Days
Shantha Rangaswamy, the 3rd child among 7 sisters was the first women in the Indian cricket team to score a century as she scored 108 against New Zealand in 1977. She was also the first test captain of the Indian Women Cricket Team. She was a batting all-rounder. She scored 750 runs in her 16 test matches. In 19 ODIs, this sports lady took 12 wickets and scored 287 runs. It was under her captaincy that India won its first test series. She was awarded The Arjuna Award in 1976. She was also the first women cricketer to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the BCCI. Presently she works as a cricket writer.
The Mumbai girl Diana Fram Eduji grew up playing cricket in the railway colony. She was born on 26th January 1956. Before coming to cricket, she used to play tennis and basketball. She was a slow left-hand orthodox bowler and made her test debut for the Indian women cricket team in 1976 against the West Indies. She made her ODI debut in 1978 against England as captain of the Indian Team. She was also made the captain of the Indian Test squad in 1985. In 1993, the Government of India honored her with the greatest achievement of sports, the ‘Arjuna Award.’ She also obtained the Padma Shri award in 2002.
(Also Read - 11 Strong & Confident Women Quotes)
Shubhangi Kulkarni was a Right-hand batter and a leg-spinner in the Indian Women cricket team. She made her test debut against West Indies in 1976 and her ODI debut in 1978 against New Zealand. In her international career spanning almost 15 years, she claimed a total of 98 wickets and scored 1047 runs. She also scored a test century. She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1985 and became the 3rd female cricket player to receive the prestigious award. After retirement, she moved to cricket administration and was secretary of the Women Cricket Association of India at the time it merged with BCCI in 2006.
Famous Indian Women Cricketers during the 90s
Born in 1967, Purnima Rau played 5 test matches and 33 ODI matches for India. She was an allrounder and made her ODI debut in 1993 against West Indies. In 1995, she made her test debut. In her international career, she scored 639 runs and claimed a total of 65 wickets. She retired from international cricket in December 2000. She also served as the head coach of the Indian Women Cricket team between 2014 and April 2017.
Anju Jain was the only women player to play for 4 continuous world cups. She was a wicket-keeper and tends to open the batting for India. This Delhi girl played 8 test matches and 65 ODI matches for the Indian women cricket team between 1993 to 2005. She also captained the Indian team in the 2000 CricInfo Women's World Cup where India reached the semi-finals. In the domestic circuit, she played for the Air India’s women team. She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2005. Currently, she is working as the Head coach of Assam's women cricket team.
Stars of the 21st Century
Anjum Chopra can be called the first 'star' of the Indian women cricket team. Belonging to a family of sportspersons, she got the perfect environment to develop herself as a sportsperson. Not just cricket, she was also a constant feature of the athletics, swimming, and basketball teams during her school and college days. When she was 17, she made her debut in the ODI format of the game against New Zealand. She was a right-arm medium bowler and a left-handed batswoman. She became ‘the player of the series’ in her second ODI series. She is a multi-talented person who is an author, a sports star, a speaker and also an actor. She is the first Indian women cricketer to play 100 ODIs for the country. She was the top-scorer for India in the 2005 world cup where India make it to the final for the first time. She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2007 and the Padma Shri in 2014.
The Tamil girl Mithali Raj joined the Indian Women cricket team at the early age of 17 years. She made her ODI debut in the year 1999 against Ireland and scored an unbeaten 114 runs in her debut. In only her 3rd test match, she scored the world’s then-highest test score of 214 runs surpassing the 209 runs scored by Karen Rolton. She's the only Indian captain under whose captaincy the Indian team reached the world cup finals twice (2005 & 2017). She is an excellent batswoman and a great part-time bowler. She's currently the top run-getter in International ODI cricket and the only female cricket player to surpass the 6000 ODI runs milestone. Her batting average is over 50 in both tests and ODIs. This great sports person was honored by the government of India with the Arjuna Award in 2003 and the Padma Shri in 2015. As of January 03, 2018, she sits on the top of the ICC Women's ODI batting rankings.
Jhulan Nishit Goswami is the right-arm medium pacer and more than a handy batswoman who has been the only Indian women cricketer so far to be awarded by the ICC as the Women cricketer of the year. She achieved this feat in 2007. She was born on 25th November 1982 and made it to the Indian women cricket team in 2002 at the age of 19. She played a monumental role along with Mithali Raj in securing India's first test series win against England in England in 2006. She was awarded the player of the series for her efforts. Her bowling average is below 22 in all 3 formats of the game. She is at present the highest wicket-taker in women's ODI cricket as she surpassed Australian bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick. She has been felicitated by the Government of India with the Arjuna Award in 2010 and the Padma Shri in 2012.
Harmanpreet Kaur made her debut for the Indian women cricket team in 2009 against arch-rivals Pakistan. She's an all-rounder who is known for her striking abilities with the bat. Her blazing unbeaten knock of 171 runs in the semi-finals of the 2017 women world cup against Australia scripted India's entry into the world cup finals for the second time in history. In 2016, she became the first Indian cricketer ever to sign a Big Bash League contract when she was signed up by the Sydney Thunder. She was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2017. She's only 28 and is sure to break many more records in her cricketing career.
(Also Read - Gender Differences In Sports)
About the Author:
Vaishnavi Agrawal loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training. Her work has been published on various sites related to Hadoop, Big Data, Spark Scala, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP, Project Management and more.