Now that the way people look at women's cricket is changing, let's take a look at some of the feats that women achieved before men in cricket.
Like other sports, women's cricket has been somewhat overshadowed by the men's. While the men are worshipped like heroes and icons, even the best of female cricketers barely get noticed. But interestingly, there are some very remarkable feats that women have achieved before men. Now that the way people look at women's cricket is changing, let's take a look at some of the feats that women achieved before men in cricket.
First ever World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup, the biggest global tournament in cricket, held in England in the year 1975 where West Indies were crowned champions. But if you go through the history book, you'll find that the Women's World Cup, the first ever tournament of its kind, held in 1973. Host England were joined by Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago in this tournament. An International XI and a young England side also participated in the nine-day long tournament. The World Cup was played in round robin format which saw the host England better all the sides to win the title. The tournament had 21 sixty-over matches. So far, eleven such tournaments have been held and Australia top the leaderboard with six titles.
Hundred and a ten-fer in the same Test match
Scoring a hundred and taking ten wickets in a Test match is a very rare feat. Sir Ian Botham was the first cricketer in men's Test cricket to do so. After that, this feat has been repeated only twice. But 22 years before Botham, Betty Wilson achieved that feat. Fondly called 'Lady Bradman', Wilson became the first cricketer, male or female, to score a hundred and take ten wickets in a Test. On a wet wicket, she wrecked havoc in the England batting order and picked up seven and four wickets in the first and second innings respectively. The Aussie great was brilliant with the bat as well as she scored 100 in the second innings. She claimed a hat-trick in that match as well.
First ever double century in ODIs
Contrary to the popular belief, legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar was not the first cricketer in the history of One Day International cricket to score a double hundred. 13 years before Tendulkar, Australia's Belinda Clark achieved the feat. In a 1997 ICC Women's World Cup match at the MIG Stadium in Mumbai, the then captain of Australia Women's Cricket Team slaughtered a hapless Denmark bowling line-up to score a staggering 229 not out off just 155 deliveries. Her knock propelled Australia to a mammoth 412 for 3 in 50 overs. She hit 22 boundaries in that innings which suggests how well she ran between the wickets. Denmark were bundled out for a paltry 49. It remained the highest individual score in Women's ODIs for a long time before Amelia Kerr broke it in 2018.
First ever pink ball game
Because of the exposure of T20 cricket, concerns grew over dwindling viewership of Test cricket. The idea of Day night Tests thus gained popularity as the administrators expected people to turn up in larger numbers if Tests are played under floodlights. Despite push-backs from the traditionalists, ICC continued experimenting. The first ever competitive match in pink ball held between England and Australia on July 5, 2009. It was an ODI match and England Women prevailed in a tense last-ball finish. That's how pink-ball cricket came into being. This breakthrough encouraged ICC to experiment more and cricket boards began to use pink balls in first-class competitions. The first ever pink-ball Test was played between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide where Australia won by three wickets.
Bangladesh's maiden multi-nation trophy win
As astonishing as it gets, Bangladesh Women's cricket team won a multi-nation tournament before the male counterparts. The men were agonisingly close to win one several times. But every time they fell short before winning a triangular series in Ireland in 2019. But the women had done it a year earlier. Bangladesh Women beat six-time champions India Women by three wickets in the 2018 Asia Cup final to lift the title for the very first time. Bangladesh had to chase down 113 in 20 overs. The match went right down to the wire. It came down to the very last ball and Jahanara Alam scampered for two runs to seal Bangladesh's first title in the continental championship.