The Indian women's national cricket team were left in tears as they were booed off the field following their latest defeat in a home Tri-Nation T20 Series in which they went under to England. The Indian women's team are enduring a tough time of late following a 3-0 ODI series loss to Australia earlier this month and now they have started off the three-nation T20 series with two losses to the Aussies and England respectively.
This latest defeat in Mumbai to England was quite a bitter pill to swallow though as the runners-up in the fifty over World Cup last year were sent in to bat by the English women. A century opening stand between openers Mithali Raj and Smirti Mandana laid the platform for a formidable total as they put on 129 runs for the first wicket as India posted a seemingly challenging 198 for 4 off their allotted 20 overs.
England, in their turn at the crease, made light work of the run-chase as Danielle Wyatt smashed 124 off only 64 balls to lay the foundation for a comfortable England win as they coasted to 199 for 3 off only 18.4 overs and stayed top of the table with two wins from two outings.
No one was prepared for what transpired after the game though as the players were leaving the field. The England team were greeted with great cheers from the Indian crowd as they received a standing ovation for their outstanding performance. By contrast, the Indian women were booed and jeered off the field as many spectators referred to them as "losers" and "not as good as the Indian men's cricket team." One irate Indian spectator even held aloft a sign that read: "YOU ARE NOT WORTHY TO REPRESENT INDIA." This left the Indian team distraught and in tears as the English women tried their best to console them.
Speaking to reporters after the game, India Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, with tears in her eyes said:
"I never really anticipated what happened today. We are really giving our all in this tournament but the pressure of playing at home in front of our local fans who are really fanatics in every sense of the word is getting to us. Apparently they expect us to be as good as our men's team but the fact of the matter is that we still have a long way to go before we reach that level of dominance and to tell you the truth it really isn't easy playing against the likes of England and Australia. Since we reached the World Cup final last year the Indian public expect us to do well in every tournament that we play in regardless of the format. But they must be ready to expect disappointing results too."
She went on:
"I really thought that the 198 we made would have been enough to win the game but as you can see, England is a damn good team and our bowling was not the best today. In fact out best bowler - Deepti took 2 for 36 and that was still not good enough because England has a very potent batting line-up. We really tried out best to get Wyatt out but it was too late already when we got her and the damage was already done. But when our home fans started booing us and referring to us as losers who not worthy to represent India, it really hurt us. We left the field in tears due to the disrespect we received. Even right now I am still crying."
"Nothing more than a win over Australia tomorrow will help to revive our spirits and the expectations of the fanatical public. If not, then I am afraid that we are in danger of losing close to a billion fans and that unfortunately, is too much to lose."