The Indian Women’s Cricket team was felicitated by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Saturday. The women’s team ended as runners up in the Cricket World Cup held in England last month.
Team members - Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Harmanpreet Kaur were honoured by MCA President and BJP MLA Ashish Shelar. Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, player Madhav Apte and CoA member Diana Edulji were also present at the event.
A memento and membership of the MCA’s facility at suburban Bandra Kurla Complex were given to all the players. Cricketers Mona, Poonam and Smriti were given Rs five lakh reward each as earlier announced by MCA. Members of the team’s support staff Manager Trupti Bhattacharya and Rashmi Pawar were also feted.
The Indian women’s team lost to England at the iconic Lords last month in a nail-biting final match.
Remembering her difficult journey, Mithali said she started enjoying facilities which they received after coming under BCCI.
“The cricketers who are sitting back can watch women cricketers as role models. For us we have only seen men’s cricketers. We have seen Sachin (Tendulkar), Kapil Dev play and those are the videos we watched. But this is a revolution and they (the budding women cricketers) can see Harmanpreet, Poonam, Smriti play,” she added.
Harmanpreet played a superb innings in the semi-finals against Australia to take Indian in the finals. She further said that only two media persons came when the team was leaving for England.
“While we were going only two media people had come, but when we returned the entire country knew it and that was an achievement,” she said, adding, it was a message from Diana (Edulji) which pushed her to do well after not a good performance in the opening games.
Poonam Raut, who had played a valiant 86-run knock in the final said the reception which they received on arrival was like a dream. “We narrowly missed winning the cup, but the love people have showered on us has inspired us. Our goal is to win the next World Cup and we will surely win it,” she said.
Mandhana recalled that as the side had gone 15 days in advance before the tournament started they were able to acquaint themselves with the conditions. She expressed gratitude to the physios and trainers at the NCA who helped her recover from the injury.
Mona Meshram and Shelar too shared their thoughts. Among others, former India player Praveen Amre, MCA Vice President Vinod Deshpande were present on the occasion.
(With PTI inputs)