The debate over the acceptance levels of men’s and women’s cricket teams in India was set to be rekindled once again as Harmanpreet Kaur’s girls returned to an empty airport in Mumbai on Tuesday, following their defeat in the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia last Sunday. The Women in Blue gifted some brilliant cricket in the tournament in which they won all their matches till the final.
The scenario of the national cricketers touching down upon an empty airport in the city that houses the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters was slammed on various quarters. Did the women’s team deserve such a response even if it failed to win the crown in the first appearance in the final? India had an off day in the final as they slumped to an 85-run defeat against hosts Australia who lifted their fifth title in seven editions. India became the first Asian team to make the final of the women’s T20 World Cup and even beat Australia by 17 runs in the opening game.
The Indian cricketers were in deep agony after losing the final but still, there were many positives to take out of their journey. But it looked the players were even more disappointed to see no welcome awaiting them as they returned home. Images of captain Harmanpreet and all-rounder Veda Krishnamurthy at the Mumbai airport came up on Twitter and they wore a displeasing look.
What if you achieve something big for the first time in history, you get applauded. But i can't see any welcome here. I think the disappointment on the players face is much greater today than the defeat in final. I m with the team #WeAreWithYouTeam 🇮🇳
pc- ig (tag visible) @BCCI pic.twitter.com/4NB02neUYp
— Kp sinha #VK79 (@kpsinha7) March 10, 2020
No awards announced for the players yet
It was also said that none of the governments of the states to which the players belonged did not announce any kind of prize — cash or otherwise — for the members of the finalist team. Shafali Verma, the youngster from Haryana who had a terrific run with the bat in the tournament, was yet to be promised any honour by her state’s government.
It was the Indian women’s second successive loss in the final of a World Cup. In 2017, they lost to hosts England in the title clash of the 50-over World Cup by just nine runs.
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