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Muscat ladies hit a six in their maiden Cricket outing

Women's cricket in Muscat creates a buzz

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A picture of Woman Cricket Team in Muscat

Shillpi A Singh

India’s loss to West Indies in the World T20 semi-finals was a
heart-breaking news for cricket-crazy fans across the world.
While the men, mostly Indians, settled in Muttrah, Muscat, chose to
sulk, completely devastated by the news of India’s premature exit from
the tournament, their better halves did the unthinkable. The motley
crew of women, hailing from different states in India, belonging to
different age groups and coming from varied career backgrounds,
organised a T20 cricket match in 10 days flat. The game was held to a
packed house on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at the local ground in
Muttrah.
Muscat Woman Cricket: Images © Ali Guraiffi & Sarthak SinghThe ladies didn’t have enough time on their hands. The legwork for the
cricket match started with converting the empty land in the
neighbourhood where kids played in the evening into a cricket field.
The two teams were named Scorpions and Tigers and a draw of lots
selected the team-mates. The Scorpions were captained by Shabana Haris
while Mayaja Harish led the Tigers. The net practise for the team
members was next most important thing on the agenda. “Practice makes a
man perfect. It was indispensable to get the hang of bat and ball for
a good show on the D-Day,” said Sunita Singh, a member of Team
Scorpions, adding, “The ladies took time out of their busy schedules
and showed up at the practice sessions without fail.” The ladies had a
hard task master in the form of their children. Like obedient
students, mothers were left with no choice but follow the batting and
bowling tips shared by their children and practise daily under their
watchful eyes.

Muscat ladies: Images © Ali Guraiffi & Sarthak Singh


Once the teams were in place, the next thing to do was finalise the
dress code for the match. It was T-Shirts, white for the Scorpions and
Red for the Tigers, to be worn with black track pants.
They even managed to arrange for two altruist sponsors who give away
prizes to the winning team, and also to the participants. The ladies
had contributed 2.5 Rials each, of which they spent 32 Rials on the
Trophy and 10 Rials on engaging cleaners for the event; the remaining
amount they will be returned to the participants.
On that sunny Saturday afternoon, when the teams assembled on the
ground, little did they realise that it would be an affair to remember
for the players and spectators alike. The Tigers won the Toss and
Scorpions batted first, setting a target of 88 runs for their
opponent. The Tigers chased this score and won the match by six
wickets.

Muscat ladies: Images © Ali Guraiffi & Sarthak Singh
The all-woman cricket match had Aslam and Suneer gracing the event as
Umpires while Siddhartha Sharma and Rohit Gupta took care of
commentary.

It was a sight to behold as the ladies were huffing and puffing on the
ground, busy running between the wickets to score runs or bowling and
fielding, while their husbands, with children in tow, chose to stand
happily in the sweltering heat, dutifully cheering for their wives’
team.

And mind you all these women had never played cricket before; it was their maiden outing, and they have bowled over one and all with their power-packed performance. Way to go ladies!

The author can be contacted at shilpi.devsingh@gmail.com

Next Story

2019 is One of India’s Best Years in Cricket: Virat Kohli

Indian cricket in 2019 - A moment to remember

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Virat Kohli Cricket
Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli feels that 2019 was the best year for Indian cricket. Wikimedia Commons

BY YAJURVINDRA SINGH

Captain Virat Kohli’s final statement on Indian cricket at the end of the year was so true. He said, “2019 is one of India’s best years in cricket barring those 30 minutes at the World Cup.” If one reflects on the performance of Indian cricket in 2019 which started with a bang by beating Australia in a Test match series, for the first time, in Australia. This truly remarkable achievement by the Indian side not only gave it that much needed boost to their morale and confidence but also established them as the best Test side in the world.

There were a few defeats during the year but most of them were account of experimenting, resting senior players and giving opportunities to Indian players sitting on the bench.

The most significant moment that humbled the strong Indian cricket side and the year’s performances was their semi-final defeat against New Zealand in the World Cup. The Indian team had played extraordinarily well to head their group in the preliminary stage, losing only to the ultimate winners, England. Chasing a moderate total of 239 runs for victory, India’s formidable top order collapsed in just 30 minutes and were tottering at 24 for 4 even before the first 10 overs were bowled. India never recovered from that blow and their dream of winning another World Cup faded in the horizon.

India Cricket
The most significant moment that humbled the strong Indian cricket side and the year’s performances was their semi-final defeat against New Zealand in the World Cup. Wikimedia Commons

Looking back at the curtains now drawn for the year, this was perhaps the only blemish that tarnished the significant performances of the India side. The great West Indian side had a similar moment in the 1983 final when they lost to India in the World Cup. To them then, it looked like a total that they would normally chase without blinking an eyelid, but, it turned out to be their nemesis.

Cricket has these uncertain moments and the song, “one moment in time” sung by the wonderful singer Whitney Huston for the summer Olympics in 1988 held in Seoul, is so appropriate, not only for an individual but also for a team. These precious moments are all that one hopes and prays for, in the life of a sportsman. This is what finally establishes them and the team of being a winner or an also ran.

The South African cricket side is a good example of how mental pressure of failure could even affect future teams. They have on many occasions looked like a winning side in an ICC tournament and have failed to deliver due to several different reasons. The side is now branded in world cricket as “chokers” and this tag, unfortunately, has remained every time their side plays in another ICC World Cup tournament. They have in the last two decades produced some outstanding cricketers, but somehow lady-luck has never blessed them when they most need it to break out of the barriers of the past.

The year 2020 has the World T20 later in the year in Australia. India will be one of the likely tournament favourites, especially as they have two of the best T20 batsmen in Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as well as three of the top pace bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. At present, the likely Indian T20 team will comprise of a majority of the players who were part of their World Cup 2019 side.

Indian cricket team
The skills, confidence and capability of the Indian cricket team are well known. Wikimedia Commons

This is a major factor that concerns one. For India to be successful, they will need to forget those disastrous 30 minutes of their moment in time of the year 2019. The skills, confidence and capability of the Indian side are well known to one and all, but the team will be tested more on their mental rather than on their cricketing capabilities.

This is where the BCCI will need to play a significant part in ensuring that a mental coaching and strengthening is also an important part in the preparation of the side for the World Cup T20.

International cricket is played more in the mind than on the field. For them to be at the world stage, already makes them players who have the potential and skill to be there. With less than a dozen T20I games left in the Indian calendar before their first World T20 match on October 24, 2020, they not only require to fill the million dollar question that still prevails about the middle order batters, but also, about their mental preparation for the task ahead.

The IPL (Indian Premier League) will play an important part in the final composition of the Indian T20 side, but playing for a franchise is completely different from when one wears the Indian colours.

Also Read- PM Narendra Modi Launched Plan to Tackle Water Shortage in India

With more than a billion people following every step of the teams’ progress and the added responsibility of playing for the nation, the pressures are as different as chalk and cheese.

One wishes the Indian team a super 2020, with victory over New Zealand and Australia in order to qualify for the final of the ongoing World Test Championship, as well as for them to bring the World T20 trophy home — a cup that they won in the inaugural year of 2007. (IANS)