India face England in the final of 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and this is a major chance for the team to create history. Ever since the tournament was held in 1973 two teams have always been dominant – Australia and England. New Zealand remains the only team to have won the World Cup other than these two teams when it lifted the trophy in 2000. The final lineup for the tournament is a repetition of the opening game for this year’s edition. At that game staged in Derby played on June 24 India defeated England by 35 runs in what was seen as a major upset. It remains to be seen whether India can repeat the feat in the finals or not.
The opinions of Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj has already promised that it will not be that easy for England. Raj can be confident considering how well India played in the semis to upset the Australian applecart. Six times champion Australia was one of the favourites prior to the tournament, in spite of all the uncertainty between the board and the players’ association before and during the tournament, but India brushed the team aside with consummate ease. Harmanpreet Kaur probably played the innings of the tournament and India backed it up on the field as well.
The importance of Harmanpreet Kaur
Kaur who smashed the Aussie attack to smithereens during her coruscating innings of 171 not out reminded a lot of people of how Kapil Dev played during that immortal innings of 183 not out against Zimbabwe in 1983 World Cup. She was powerful and yet correct. In her way, she went a major way in dispelling long held myths and notions that women’s cricket in general, and Indian women’s cricket in specific, was demure. In fact, her aggression was palpable during moments such as when she admonished Deepti Sharma, her batting partner, when she almost ran her out when she had scored 98.
Response for the final game
Apart from the record-breaking implications of the game the final itself has also succeeded at another level – that of arousing audience interest. ICC (International Cricket Council) has stated that the final at Lord’s has already been sold out. This would make it the biggest turnout for a game in this year’s event. More than 26,000 tickets have already been sold out and the remaining tickets are expected to be availed by members of MCC (Marleybone Cricket Club). This is expected to create the ideal atmosphere for a game of such stature.
How has the tournament been for women’s cricket?
In general, the 2017 tournament has been great for the women’s game in general. Almost every match has seen some record or the other being created. Even in such a wonderful season the high attendance for the final is a standout feature. The event has received exceptional coverage from media as well. In fact, this is the first time that most of the games have been streamed online. More than 50 billion people around the world have watched the tournament proper.