8th March 2020, was not just the end of a magical women's T20 world cup. It was also the end of the demarcated line between men & women’s cricket.
The differentiating factor has always been spoken out aloud. The boundary lines being brought-in, and the athleticism on the field was doubted with a gentler tone.
With time, these differentiating lines have faded, and the final was the end of it all.
Well, there were male egos looking down on women's cricket for quite some time now. The instant reaction to women’s playing cricket in smaller cities and suburbs would come across as discouraging. As they did not view the women's game from a professional lens.
The extent of disconnect was such that we would have questions like why watch women's cricket at all? Or who watches it anyway?
The myopic lens of viewing women's cricket would not stop at that. There have been many more slandering remarks in the evolution of women's cricket.
Some of the classic ones are boundaries being brought-in. But all the while, they have wrongly conceived that big sixes means cricket. Alas! They are synonyms.
Case and point, in the finals we had Beth Mooney scoring 78 runs of 54 balls, and it is interesting to note that she did not hit a single six. So, you see, cricket is not just about those huge sixes. As they say, sixes look good for the highlights package.
With the advent of T20 cricket, range hitting has become a priority. Well, we had Alyssa Healey racking up 75 in just 35 balls, which included five mammoth sixes. Hold on to your natural viewpoint, which automatically would be: ‘But weren’t the boundaries shortened.’
In MCG, hitting the ball to the stands means the distance is well-over 80m, and regardless of the boundaries being brought in or not, It's a six any day. In the finals, Healey comfortably cleared the boundaries with nearly 83m huge sixes.
Now let’s talk about athleticism, and fielding standards. It is quite evident that each team has worked a lot on their fielding and the fitness level-up. The demand for fitness is not just on the men’s side of it all.
Some of the fielding efforts in the finals from the Australian side were a testimony to their insane athletic ability. Though the women in blue had some drop chances. However, the image of Jemimah Rodrigues diving full stretch in the deep to stop the boundary, says it all. (look for it in the highlights package, but next time makes sure you watch the live-action).
So, next time when you think- it’s completely no match to men’s cricket- politely stating, change the mindset and see the magic for yourself.
Image cr.- Nd/Screen Grab/DNA