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Ladies first

The women play their semis and final before the men, and at the same grounds. Good for them

Sana Mir (Pakistan), Aimee Watkins (New Zealand), Karen Rolten (Australia), Merissa Aguilleira ( West Indies), Charlotte Edwards (England), Jhulan Goswami (India), Sunette Loubser (South Africa,) Chamari Polgampola (Sri Lanka) with the World Twenty 20 Trophy, Lord's, June 6, 2009
Playing for a world title as well © Getty Images

"Trent Bridge welcomes the New Zealand ladies cricket team," the giant screen informed us while we were perched in the press box. So that's who those people dressed in black and grey, walking in the drizzle at the far end of the ground, were. The thought that came to mind when I saw them first (before I looked at the screen) from a distance was that Daniel Vettori and his team weren't supposed to be here today. The women made their way around the ground - there was no chance of outdoor practice - and then disappeared for a hit indoors.

The schedule of the World Twenty20 has been so hectic, I'd nearly forgotten that a women's tournament was being played alongside, away from the madding crowd and without television coverage, in Taunton. They won't be unnoticed anymore, for their semi-finals will be played before the men's matches, at Trent Bridge and the Oval.

There was a Jhulan Goswami press conference scheduled in the afternoon, and I sought to arm myself with as much women's World Twenty20 information as I could. I didn't want to appear ignorant about their game, though I largely am.

There were a sizeable number of journalists at Goswami's conference, more than there were at Chris Gayle's before the Sri Lanka game, or at Graeme Smith's before the India game. There were no questions about fatigue (how could there be?), none about the IPL (not even whether the women would like a league of their own), and not a single question on a controversial topic. I suspect that's largely because we don't know enough about the women's teams.

Goswami spoke warmly about how they had hoped two Indian teams would play semi-finals on Thursday instead of just one. She revealed her team-mates' excitement at the opportunity of playing in front of a large crowd, with television coverage freeing them from obscurity. She hoped that the Indians who flocked to Trent Bridge for the men would do so for the women too. It would be a shame if she was disappointed. Turn up at Trent Bridge, there's still one Indian team with a chance for World Twenty20 glory.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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