New Delhi : Former India men’s head coach Ravi Shastri believes Harmanpreet Kaur & Co can take inspiration from the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup triumph and believe that they are not far from winning a big global title.
India will begin their quest for winning the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their first Group 2 match at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on Sunday.
“I’ve always said the biggest thing that’s going to happen in women’s cricket, and the women’s team is (not) that far away. I’ve kept saying it for the last six, eight months (India’s women’s team) are not that far away from winning a big one.
They’ve threatened, they’ve reached finals, they’ve lost some close games, but they’re there,” said Shastri in the latest episode of the ICC Review show. India’s best-ever result in the Women’s T20 World Cup was being runners-up in 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
Shastri, a member of the 1983 Men’s ODI World Cup triumph, mentioned if the Indian team goes one step further in 2023 T20 World Cup, it can prove to be a game-changer for women’s cricket in the country, just like how the victory at Lord’s proved to be a turning point.
“I know what happened in ’83, when we won the World Cup, it opened up a Pandora’s Box. The whole look at the game changed, you know, the way players were perceived, the way the game was perceived, the way people wanted.
To pack the system, the way the monetisation of the sport changed overnight.” “I see that happening with the women’s cricket. Now, under-19 is just a step.
It was fabulous to see the way the young girls played, and won. And, especially the final, to beat a team like England, bowl them out for 68 and then do the job was an outstanding achievement and that spurred a lot of young cricketers to take the sport.”
The victorious India U19 women’s team, captained by Shafali Verma, was felicitated by the BCCI before the start of third T20I between India and New Zealand at Ahmedabad.
Shastri remarked the upcoming inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India will be a “stepping stone” for young women cricketers.
“I was in Ahmedabad now during the last game when they were felicitated. And you could see the spark, the smiles on their faces, the energy. Shafali, she can play for as long as she wants.
It looks like, I mean, she still looks so young. She can keep playing for another 10 years or so.””So, I see great things happening for women’s cricket. The IPL has started now, which would again be a stepping stone and a platform for a lot of young girls to showcase their talent.
I think it’s the next big thing. You win a World Cup, a Women’s World Cup. What’s the fun?”