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Siliguri watches local girl’s play in finals of women’s cricket world cup

Pained by India’s loss, but happy for Richa Ghosh

By Bireswar Banerjee in Siliguri
  • Published 9.03.20, 12:41 AM
  • Updated 9.03.20, 12:41 AM
  • a min read
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Cricket enthusiasts watch the finals at the Kanchenjungha Stadium on Sunday. Picture by Passang Yolmo

Joy gave way to disappointment when Australia defeated India in the finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup at Melbourne on Sunday.

While cricket enthusiasts here were happy that Siliguri girl Richa Ghosh made it to the Indian team in the finals, they found the joy short-lived when Australia lifted the cup.

“We are disheartened that India lost the match. But simultaneously, we are proud that Richa played in the finals and scored 18 runs. It is no easy feat for a 16-year-old girl who went to bat when half of her teammates had returned to the pavilion,” said Bibek Sarkar, the secretary of the Bagha Jatin Athletics Cricket Coaching Centre, where Richa had started her career when she was just six.

“She was not in the first eleven but suddenly got a chance to bat. She tried her best and hit two boundaries. This is something which we must appreciate.”

On Sunday, a giant screen was set up at a hall of the Kanchenjungha Stadium by the centre and crackers were ready as several budding cricketers, including girls and some of those who had played with Richa, sat glued to the match.

Richa, who was not in the first eleven, was sent to bat as a concussion substitute after Tania Bhatia, another batswoman, suffered injuries and returned to the pavilion.

It came as a surprise to the Siliguri fans. As Richa entered the ground, they burst in joy.

The crowd went frenzy and loud cheers rented the air when she hit the boundaries.

The happiness was, however, short-lived as Richa got out at 18 runs and eventually, India lost to Australia.

This is the first time that a cricketer of Siliguri has played in any world cup and that too in the finals.

“When the entire team failed, what would she do alone?” asked Shreya Hazra, one of the players of the Siliguri women’s cricket team. Others like Sinjini and Priyanka echoed her.

Manabendra, Richa’s father, said: “It was a bad day for our team because they (Australia) scored a huge total, which was difficult to chase. This is part of the game. I am proud that my daughter is part of a brilliant team and played at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), which is a dream for any cricketer.”