Former cricketer and CoA member Diana Edulji on Thursday said that the finals of the Women's T20 World Cup will be a game-changing moment for women's cricket in the country.
Her remarks came as India made it to its first finals of the Women's T20 World Cup.
The semi-final clash between India and England was called off without a single ball being bowled due to rain. And since there are no reserve days, India entered the finals as they topped their group in the initial stages.
"I am very happy to see India making the finals. Unfortunately, it is due to the weather conditions that we have made the finals, but it doesn't take away anything. We have broken the jinx finally. We were stuck in three semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, we have finally crossed that threshold, now let's see who we face in the finals, Edulji told ANI.
"We need to score at least 150/160, otherwise the bowlers will be under pressure. We have to get everybody ready. It will be a game-changing moment for women's cricket in the country," she added.
16-year-old Shafali Verma has scored 485 runs in the shortest format of the game at a strike-rate of 146.96. In the ongoing tournament, she has made 161 runs, with the highest being 47 against Sri Lanka.
Edulji heaped praise on the youngster but also said that experienced campaigners like Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpeet Kaur also need to come to the party.
"I feel at the moment the team is on a roll. The bowlers have been playing exceptionally well, they have bailed us out in the matches. Shafali has been a star for us in the tournament. She is fearless in her batting. After Harman, I have seen another player who is not scared of hitting boundaries. I am now waiting for Harman and Smriti to get going," Edulji said.
India also made it to the finals of the 50-over Women's World Cup in 2017 but was defeated by England.
"Luckily in 2017, we played a final in front of a huge crowd. I am hearing at the MCG there will be more than 50,000 people watching the finals of the T20 World Cup. In 2017, we messed it up a little. Everyone will have a role to play in the finals. Let us just play the game we have been playing in the entire tournament," Edulji said.
India defeated hosts Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka in their group to make it to the semi-finals undefeated.
Later in the day, South Africa and Australia will take on each other in the second semi-final, and if it gets washed out as well, the Proteas will make it to the finals as they topped Group B.
The finals of the Women's T20 World Cup will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on March 8, which is also International Women's Day.