Following the grand welcome of the Indian women’s cricket team at the Mumbai airport, the Indian Railways felicitated 10 players out of the 16 member team. These players work for the Indian Railways. The Railway Ministry also announced a cash prize of Rs 1.30 crores for these 10 players.
Indian Railways has 10 out of the 15 world-class cricketers. The captain, vice-captain, wicket keeper, the highest-scorer are all our employees.” – Suresh Prabhu
Cabinet minister, Suresh Prabhu, who was present at the felicitation ceremony, held at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi, said, “While it is a happy day for all Indians, it is really a matter of great pride for the Railways especially. Indian Railways has 10 out of the 15 world-class cricketers. The captain, vice-captain, wicket keeper, the highest-scorer are all our employees.”
He added that it was the girls’ commitment and dedication that played a big role in bringing the team to such an esteemed position.
“I was asking Diana Eduljee (former India Captain) about the time she started playing, she told me that she started in 1971. That means she started 46 years ago. At that time, I am sure she would have never imagined that one-day Indian women will go and give such tough competition at the World Cup, and do so well. I don’t think anyone would have imagined this,” said Prabhu.
“The biggest thing is when your institution feels so proud of you and honours you.” – Mithali Raj
After the Minister’s address there was a media interaction with the cricketers. Raj said, “The biggest thing is when your institution feels so proud of you and honours you. Nobody imagined that we would even reach the semifinals. Finals were not even in the picture. The way we won the first match against England in the host’s country, is a huge achievement for the team.”
“And we lost two matches in between but the team came back with a victory against Australia. So that was also big for the team. But in the last overs of the finals, we lost because of nervousness and less experience. Other than that, we have played really well in the tournament and as players, everyone gave their best performances,” she added.
She also praised railways for employing women cricketers and extending their constant support.
“Railway is the only institution that gives jobs to women cricketers. And 90-95 per cent women cricketers in the country work for the Railways. Recently, they (railways) have come up with a scheme of excellence where we get 330 days off to work on our game. This has really helped us to improve our individual games. And given us more opportunities to work as a team,” the cricketer said.
SheThePeople.TV also spoke to the middle order batswoman Veda Krishnamurthy. Veda believes that a lot will change for women’s cricket after this edition. She said, “This ICC World cup has been revolutionary. Not only for us but all the eight teams. This World Cup has laid the foundation for the coming generation of women cricketer.”
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