The ICC on Monday announced Diana Edulji, Virender Sehwag and Aravinda de Silva have been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. Diana Edulji now becomes the first Indian woman cricketer to be recognised with this prestigious honour. She also becomes only the second woman outside Australia and England to be bestowed with this, as Debbie Hockley from New Zealand was inducted previously.
Diana Edulji, former Arjuna Awardee and Padma Shri winner, is a former India captain having represented India in over 20 Tests and 34 One Day Internationals (ODIs). A prolific left-arm spinner who donned India colours for 17 long years across three different decades, she scalped 63 and 46 wickets respectively in Tests and ODIs while also scoring 1624 and 775 runs respectively.
She was considered unplayable at her prime as indicated by the many batters she outfoxed. A fierce leader who played with her heart on her sleeve, she led from the front and always chipped in for the team when needed. The contributions of Diana Edulji have occupied so many pages in women’s cricket history and her role since 1971 has been nothing short of remarkable.
Diana Edulji – the pioneer of Indian Women’s Cricket
A trailblazer on and off the field 🌟
— ICC (@ICC) November 13, 2023
Women’s cricket was barely recognised in India in the 60s and 70s and had it not been for Edulji’s constant push and gradual rise through the ranks, it is unimaginable to see where women’s cricket would be. Not only was Diana Edulji a key member of India’s first official and recognised test versus the West Indies but she captained India through 1978 and the early 1990s in World Cups as well. She also holds the unique honour of bowling the most number of deliveries in the history of women’s test cricket.
In her life post-retirement, Diana Edulji actively participated in administration and was a pioneer in many strategic and game-changing initiatives that changed the dimension and perception of women’s cricket in India. She was the voice constantly championing women’s cricket in India and she would understand and present the needs of the players better than anyone.
Continuing to make a difference in the life of women cricketers, she has not just nurtured young and aspiring cricketers but has also been instrumental in her role at the Western Railways continues to positively impact former and current cricketers who have often credited her for their success.