For so long, we have come to believe that cricket is a male-dominated sport. All media attention is on male cricketers. All men’s cricket across the globe are covered and broadcasted on television. These are not generally observed in case of women’s cricket. Technology has started to be used uniformly across men’s games whereas it is not uniform in the women’s games. Pitches used in men’s games are scrutinised whereas the quality of pitches used for the women’s games are continuously overlooked.
With this difference in the treatment meted out to male and female players across most countries, one should at least recognise their achievements and their contribution to cricket. Sadly, with so much attention to men’s cricket, even this has been swept under the rug. However, with the International Women’s Day around the corner, we would like to bring to your notice certain instances where women have achieved more than what the men had achieved at that point of time purely through will, passion and dedication against all odds. These instances highlight what ‘Girl Power’ is all about.
Source - ESPN
1. Women’s World Cup was held earlier than Men’s World Cup
Source - ICC
In which year was the first World Cup held? Most people would answer ‘1975’ for this question. Wrong. The first World Cup was held way back in 1973 in England when 7 women’s teams participated in the first ever Women’s Cricket World Cup. The teams were – England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Young England and International XI. England won the World Cup by finishing first on points. The first Men’s World Cup was held only 2 years later in 1975.
2. Total of 400+ by a team in a match
2006 was remembered for the ODI match between Australia and South Africa in Johannesburg. Australia made 434/4 which was a record total by any men’s team. However, South Africa chased it down and created history.
But, do you know that the Australian women’s team were actually the first team – men or women – to make 400+ runs in an innings. It was almost a decade back in 1997 against Denmark. Australia made 412/3 and beat Denmark comfortably. It is yet another instance of women achieving an important milestone long before the men did.
3. First Double Hundred in ODI cricket
Sachin Tendulkar had made history in 2010 when he scored 200 runs in a single match, thereby setting a new milestone in the game. He made 200* against South Africa in Gwalior and entered his name in the record books.
Again, women achieved this feat before men when Belinda Clark, the Australian legend, scored 229* in 1997 in that same match against Denmark and entered the record book as the first cricket player – male or female – to score 200+ in an ODI innings. Did you know that she held the record for the highest individual score by any player – male or female – for as many as 17 years when Rohit Sharma made 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014. That 229 still remains as the third-highest individual score for all ODIs – male or female – is an achievement that all women can be proud of.
4. Youngest player to score a century and double-century in ODI Cricket
When Shahid Afridi hit a century, he was just 16 years and 217 days old. He scored 102 runs against Sri Lanka in 1996 and became the youngest player to score a century in ODIs. However, that record was broken in 3 years when our very own, Mithali Raj, scored 114 not out against Ireland in 1999. She scored these runs when she was 16 years and 205 days old, just 12 days younger than Shahid Afridi. Till date, she remains the youngest player – male or female – to score a century in ODI cricket.
In 2018, Amelia Kerr also made a double century in an ODI against Ireland. In the process, she also became the youngest player – male or female – to score a double-hundred in an ODI. She was only 17 years 243 days old at that time.
Thus, women hold an enviable distinction of having the youngest players ever to score a century and a double-century in ODI cricket. This will definitely stay in the record books for a long time.
5. England Women beat England Men’s record of highest T20 total for the country
Source- Cricket 365
On 18th March, 2016, England Men’s team made history by scoring 230 runs in a T20 match to win the game against South Africa. It was the highest score made by England in a T20 International. However, that record was not to stand for a very long time as two years later in 2018, it was broken by none other than the women’s team who managed to score 250 runs. Not to mention, the opponent in that game was also South Africa. Tammy Beaumont scored 116 runs in just 52 balls to propel them to the record books. Not only is it the highest score in a Women’s T20 International by any team, it also remains the highest score by an England team in T20 – male or female.
6. Highest Opening Partnership in an ODI
Source - India Today
This record belongs to women as well, and was created by two Indian players, Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut in 2017. They combined to score 320 runs to break the back of Ireland bowlers. Deepti Sharma was dismissed for 188 and Punam Raut retired hurt on 109. It remains the highest opening partnership for all ODIs – male or female. Although the overall record is held by men, it is phenomenal that out of only 4 stands of 300+ at that time, women featured in one of them.
7. Most consecutive ODI centuries
Source - Cricket.com
When Kumar Sangakkara hit 4 back-to-back centuries in 2015, many had believed that it is an achievement that is near-impossible to emulate. He scored centuries against Bangladesh, England, Australia and Scotland, all in the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia.However, in 2016-2017, the record found its match. It was equalled by none other than a woman, New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite, who scored 4 centuries on the trot. Her first 3 centuries came against Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand in November 2016. The 4th century came in her next assignment, against Australia at home.
8. Most consecutive wins in T20 International
Source - Telegraph
From 30th October 2011 to 15th September 2012, England Women played 14 T20 International matches. They won all of them. This streak of 14 wins remains the longest streak of wins in all T20s – men or women. The respective record by men is also held by England, who won just 8 consecutive T20 matches between 6th May 2010 to 12th January 2011.
9. Most World Cup Tournaments Won
Source - Telegraph
When Australia Women’s team won the Women’s World Cup in 2007 in India, they had been crowned champions for the record 6th time. No team – male or female – won as many World Cups ever. Till date, there have been 11 World Cup tournaments and Australia women have won it a staggering 6 times.The respective record for the men’s game is one less at five, also held by Australia. They won it for the 5th time in 2015 at home.
Women’s cricket has always been highlighted by numerous feats over time. These are the instances where they have bettered or equalled the records set by men. It must also be noted that many teams such as Australia, New Zealand, England and India have been part of the history and not just one team in particular. However, we still continue to shun women’s cricket by allowing lesser participation and coverage. With more support by the cricket fraternity, the women cricketers will be surely encouraged and will continue breaking more records in the years to come.
Until then, cheers to ‘GIRL POWER’.
Until then, cheers to ‘GIRL POWER’.