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India women have left for the World Cup in Australia and a win this time - they reached the final in 2005 - could do the women's game as much good as the 1983 win did for the men. In the Indian Express Bharat Sundaresan traces the development of women's cricket in India.
Even in the late 70s and early 80s, when the Indian men’s team were starting to come into their own, cricket was popular amongst women, insists Behroze. But England captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, who averaged 45 and 58 in Tests and ODIs respectively, was the only real woman superstar to idolise. “We would pounce onto whatever records were available and hear tales about her achievements. Men’s cricket was always a fascination and we used to get complementary passes to go watch them play at the CCI or at Wankhede,” Behroze says. Politicians played a part in the development of women’s cricket, and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was regarded as a promoter of the sport. “She told us that we were lucky to be among the top 11 cricketers to represent the country and that we should really value the India cap and blazer,” Behroze says about Gandhi.