But India is.
It all went down at the Bankstown Oval. Under the watchful gaze of the Stephen and Mark Waugh pavilion.
Australia were taking on India in the most important game that wasn’t the World Cup final.
3rd Place play off, oh ya baby.
I got there just after the showers and play had restarted with 4 overs being reduced. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It certainly wasn’t the 200-300 strong crowd.
Armed with a sausage roll and a bottle of water, I sat down to see just how good these womens teams were. And if I hadn’t known Ishant Sharma was across the tasman in New Zealand, I would have sworn the Indian captain was him. They had the same built. Tall and lanky. Although , in hindsight, Goswamis’ pony tail did give it away a little.
Australia were struggling but fighting by the time I dropped in. Their captain Karen Rolton was doing her best to keep the innings together.
I gotta admit, right from the off, the cricket kept me on my toes. Sure, I didn’t know too many of the players or the big stars but the girls were putting on some good cricket and I was captivated. Rolton and Sthaleka both had good techniques and more importantly at 63-5 they could have folded but these girls showed there was a lot of fight in them.
This might have been a 3rd place play off but it clearly meant a lot to both Australia and India.
For the most part, I kept trying to compare the mens game to the match I was watching. And to tell you the truth the only visible difference that I could notice was the physical aspect of the game -that being men were obviously built stronger so naturally they would be bowling faster and hitting longer. The fastest I probably saw from the women was maybe 75mph, this is judging from the naked eye so I could be wrong.
I did see a six though. So yea.
But apart from that there weren’t any glaring differences. What I did enjoy though was the complete lack of pimped out bullshit that you get at the mens ODI games and more recently the IPL. The dancers, thebollywood stars and all the razmatazz which has nothing to do with the actual cricket.
Here the focus was the cricket and everyone was enjoying it. Jrod spoke about how pure the womens game was compared to mens ODI game these days. And if you actually attended one of these matches you’d know this is exactly the case.
Women cricketers need to be smarter to get wickets and score runs because they cant always rely on their physical power.
I wonder how many batsmen and bowlers in the mens game would survive if suddenly their physical strength was taken away and they had to rely on purely cricketing skills.
In the end the game ended up being quite close, With India getting home after a tight chase. There were fists pumping and big bear hugs and massive cheers from the small Indian crowd who had turned up.
The star of the whole thing for me though was Lisa Sthaleka’s off spin. She bowled with so much control and gave the ball more air than a pre-Hair Murali.
10 overs for 27 and 3 wickets. I could watch Lisa over all the half witted spinners in the mens game any day.
Needless to say, I was pretty satisfied with my Saturday after not knowing what I’d be in for. The tickets were cheap, the ground was pretty and the girls put on an excellent advert for womens cricket.
So, if you happen to know a womens game is in your neck of the woods, Drop by and enjoy a trip down memory lane when cricket was still untouched by too much commercialism and played with skill and smarts and still felt like something pure.