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City, teammates pray for Jhulan & Co.

22nd July 2017
With barely 24 hours left for Team India to walk out onto the Lord’s to date history, Kolkata is abuzz with the new heroes of Indian cricket and of course it’s very own Chakda Express.
Till the super six people did not take note of a determined team India putting up show stopping performance. But once they left the Kiwis to bite the dust and set up a date with Australia, cricket found its new heroes or shall we say ‘mardanis’.
The boys in a local club in Baguiati have put up pictures of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jhulan Goswami. They plan to have a picnic after the final tomorrow, once India wins.
The main topic of discussion in the long queues for buses and trains is the Indian women’s team and how they are on the verge of doing the impossible. Meanwhile, some of Jhulan’s teammates are more than sure that India will pull it through against the mighty England at home.
“Indian team is on a high after beating six time champions Australia. They should carry the momentum to the final. Jhulan is also bowling very well. If she and Sikha Pandey can bowl the way they bowled at the beginning of the innings then India has a good chance,” said Kathakali Banerjee, former cricketer turned journalist.
What she said was echoed by Mohana Sengupta and Monami Bhattacharya. They are both professionals who work in the corporate sector. “Tomorrow both of us are throwing a party at Monami’s home. We have invited all our friends especially the boys so that they can cheers for the power puff girls from India. I am sure India will win,” Monami said.
Mohana added “Jhulan deserves to win the World Cup. She went close once as a captain. But such a successful career should have this trophy in the cabinet.”

“England has an edge playing at home. But all that is in the mind. If India can replicate what they have done against Australia, our girls have a real good chance. But win or lose they have won the hearts and respect f the world,” said Ananya Mitra, former Bengal keeper and Jhulan’s team mate.
Priyanka Roy, another Bengal cricketer added: “Jhulan is bowling really well. From the quarter finals she has found her touch. She looks like the Jhulan of the old, focused and determined. Besides everyone is contributing. Once Sarah Taylor is back home early, the scales will tilt in India’s favour.”
“Look at her work ethics. To be playing at this level at her age. She fields well, bowls well and is a real hand with her bat too,” said Sujay Malakar, medical-representative at a multinational, about Jhulan, adding “We are rooting for India and will watch the match with our friends and family tomorrow.”

“I had sent a whatsapp to Jhulan di after the brilliant win against Australia and told her that now we have to win the cup. I am sure the team will win tomorrow. The way they are playing nothing can stop them,” said Saika Ishq, who plays for Bengal U-23 now.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), meanwhile, today announced a cash prize of INR 50 lakhs for each member of Team India (Women) for their performance in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. The support staff of Team India (Women) will receive INR 25 lakhs each.
Since the tournament's inception in 1973 - two years before the men's World Cup started - it has been dominated by England and Australia, with New Zealand, in 2000, the only other country to have won the event. The final sees this year's edition come full circle, with India having upset the form book to beat England by 35 runs in the tournament opener in Derby on June 24.
To repeat the feat twice in a course of a month is a big ask. But with wishes all round and Indian supporters coming out in numbers to support the team in blue, Lord’s will have enough support tomorrow when they walk out onto the 22-yards.

Arindam Basu