It was a tough time out on the field for the Indian women’s cricket team at the finale of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Edgbaston on the eve of August 7. They fell short of just 9 runs from winning their first ever major title, as Australia defeated them to clinch the Gold medal and India had to settle for the silver. During the medal ceremony, a sense of disappointment was clearly seen on the players’ faces as they had been through a major loss, and the Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s body language and expressions clearly denoted what the team had been going through, as this was their third big loss at the finals of a major tournament. Kaur, who has been part of the Indian setup for a very long time now, has suffered the 2017 World Cup finals loss against England, the 2020 World Cup finals loss against Australia, and now the CWG 2022 finals loss against the same opponents.
But Kaur was much more accepting of the outcome and the impact it might have on a future generation of athletes when she retrieved herself to address the media minutes after the ceremony. “I’m happy and satisfied with the way we played throughout. I know we were close to winning gold, but all around our performance was great. This is the first time we got to play in this tournament and we’re happy to have won a silver medal. A medal is something people back home will get inspired from and they could start playing cricket. As a team, we want to inspire young girls. Doing well on this platform will motivate a lot of people back home,” Kaur told the media. India gained a lot of loyal followers with their doings before the first ball was bowled, despite the fact that they let a gold medal slip right under their nose.
When asked to summarize the team’s current state, Harmanpreet said she thought India was headed in the right direction and agreed with Australian skipper Meg Lanning that the Indian team wasn’t far from becoming a force to reckon with, that top sides like Australia would be extremely cautious of. “I know we could’ve easily won gold, but something is better than nothing, at least we got silver. We deserved it for so much hard work. If not gold, we’re satisfied with what we got today. [As a team] we are on the right track, we just need to keep working hard. As Lanning said, we’re not far from dominating across formats. We are improving as a team and time is not far when we will start winning back-to-back,” Kaur added.