With the year ending, let’s revisit and look back at the finest moments in Women’s Cricket which will be a part of the distinguished history. 2022 was the year that changed the perception of Women’s Cricket in the audience’s minds. It included some great debuts and emotional farewells, especially for the Women in Blue.
Here are the top moments of 2022:
- Commonwealth Games
It was encouraging to see the direction in which women’s cricket is moving forward, as we have witnessed the sport’s growth for a decade now. Including women’s cricket in the Commonwealth Games was only the beginning of something exceptional. The Indian Women’s Cricket team ended up as silver medalists, as they lost seven wickets for 31 runs falling to Australia by nine runs in the Commonwealth Games 2022 gold medal match in Birmingham. After winning their first two games in Group A, Australia became the first team to advance to the semifinals.
Both New Zealand and England advanced to the semi-finals in their victory over Sri Lanka. India won their last group match against Barbados to reach out the semi-final lineup. India defeated England by 4 runs to win the first semifinal. Australia defeated New Zealand by a margin of five wickets to win the second semi-final. In the Bronze Medal Match, New Zealand defeated England by an 8-wicket margin to win the bronze. After defeating India by 9 runs in the gold medal match, Australia took home the trophy.
- Equal pay implementation
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a historic announcement on October 27, stating that it will implement a new pay equity policy for its contracted women cricketers. This move from the governing body resulted in men and women cricketers receiving the same match fees.
This moment received many positive responses, and the experts lauded BCCI for becoming the second board, after New Zealand, to establish equal pay and support the development of women’s cricket. The Indian women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur tweeted, “Truly a red letter day for Women’s Cricket in India with pay parity announced for women and men. Thank you, @BCCI and @JayShah.”
- End of an era – Retirement of the legends
After this season, the women’s cricket world will undoubtedly miss out on a massive part as two of the sport’s biggest names, Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, announced their retirements from international competition, ending careers that lasted for more than two decades. On September 25, Jhulan Goswami made a heartfelt farewell message in which she declared her retirement from all forms of the game.
On the 24th, Jhulan competed in her final international match at Lord’s, and she left on a high note by aiding India women’s 3-0 ODI series victory over England women. For the former Indian captain Mithali Raj, there wasn’t a proper farewell as her final match for the national team was a defeat to South Africa, which led to the Women in Blue’s elimination from the World Cup in New Zealand.
- Introduction of Women’s IPL
The first Women’s IPL season is anticipated to take place from March 3 to March 26, with the competitions taking place in India. The WIPL will begin a week after the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup final, which is planned to take place on February 26 in Cape Town, as the BCCI has not finalized the dates yet. Five franchise teams will compete in the league, and they will play a total of 22 games.
Each squad can have a maximum of 18 players, including a maximum of six foreign players, and each playing XI can include a maximum of five foreign players (four from Full Member countries and one from an Associate nation). This inclusion of WIPL will also promote exponential growth in the Indian team’s depth, which will reflect well on the team’s performance in the upcoming tournaments.
- Australia clinching their seventh World Cup Title
The Australian women’s cricket team won the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 final at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on April 3 by a score of 71 runs against England, winning the tournament for the seventh time. Nat Sciver’s undefeated performance of 148 was ineffective as Megan Schutt, Jess Jonassen, and Alana King excelled with the ball to limit England to 285 All Out after Alyssa Healy’s furious 170 powered Australia to a massive 356 for five.
- Upcoming Under 19 World Cup
On January 14, 2023, the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup will hold its inauguration edition in South Africa. 12 teams received direct qualification into the competition, and four more qualified after winning their respective qualifier tournaments. Shafali Verma, the 18-year-old opening batter will lead the side for India at the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa early the following year.
Aside from wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, she will be one of the two senior Indian player’s representatives. This inclusion will develop young talents to explore and develop their skills on a higher platform with the potential of huge global reach.
- Attendance for India vs Australia
A large number of 45,000 spectators crowded the DY Patil Stadium to watch the thrilling Super Over triumph by the Indian women’s cricket team over the Australian women in the second T20I, which helped the host square the series at 1-1. The Indian team received a lot of applause and encouragement. Smriti Mandhana, the vice-captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, thinks that strong attendance will inspire teams and league organizers to make investments when the Women’s IPL debuts in March of next year.
This is a massive opportunity as this India-Australia series is definitely a stepping stone because the team is not playing any home series after this and before the WIPL. When people see these kinds of matches with that sort of crowd, it is definitely going to be amazing for women’s cricket.
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