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The Indian women’s national cricket team, also referred to as the Women in Blue or Team India represents the country of India in international women’s cricket. The team is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The India women’s cricket team made its Test debut in 1976, its ODI debut at the 1978 World Cup, and its T20I debut in 2006 against England. Though it is not news that it took much time for women’s cricket and women cricketers to reach the level of appreciation and recognition as that of men’s cricket, in recent times, female cricket has taken huge strides in the right direction. And leading this wind of change were the captains of the Indian national female cricket team.
They had a pivotal role to play in the transition that took place. They took charge of the team when required and delivered. Hence, it is only right that they receive the recognition that they rightfully deserve. In this blog, we will look at a list of captains who ruled the women’s cricket scene in India.
List of Captains Who Ruled the Women’s Cricket Scene in India
|Indian cricket team female captains
The Indian women’s national cricket team registered its first-ever Test victory under her captaincy. Shantha played Women’s Test cricket for India in 16 matches from 1976 to 1991, captaining the side in 8 matches in 1976-77 and four in 1983–84. As a right-handed batter, she scored 750 runs at an average of 32.6 in the 16 Test matches that she played. Moreover, she also scored a century, which was the first ever century scored by an Indian woman cricketer.
She also has 21 scalps to her name by bowling medium pace. Her list of accomplishments also includes her becoming the first Indian female cricketer to represent the Indian Cricketers’ Association and the BCCI Apex Council. Because of her contributions to cricket and her acting as the torch bearer for women’s cricket in India, she became the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
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Acting as a middle-order batter and a wicketkeeper, Nilima proved to be of vital importance to the team. She made her international debut in the 1978 Women’s Cricket World Cup. Throughout her career, which spanned over seven years, she played 6 Test matches and 20 ODI matches for India. She was also one of the key players who showed the path to the new generation of female cricketers and for that in 2016, Jogalekar was felicitated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on the occasion of India playing its 500th Test against New Zealand.
Born in a Parsi family and hailing from Mumbai, Diana was drawn to sports right from an early age. Before cricket, she played junior nationals in basketball and table tennis. She was the first bowler to have taken 100 Women’s Test wickets. However, some of these Tests were later deemed unofficial. As per the official records, she took 63 Test wickets and finished with an overall 120 international wickets. For her achievements, she was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1983.
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Another former skipper and one of the most skilled administrators of the game, she served as the secretary of the Women’s Cricket Association of India. A leg spinner and a handy lower-order batter, made her International debut in 1976 against West Indies and established herself as one of the most dynamic players of her time.
Hailing from Indore, Sandhya represented India in 13 Test matches from 1984 to 1995. She went on to score 1100 runs at an average of 50.45. She also donned the national colors in 21 ODIs, scoring 567 runs. Apart from the national team, Sandhya also represented the Railways on numerous occasions. Post-retirement, she took up coaching.
One of the most impactful all-rounders, Purnima was a right-handed batter who also bowled off-spin. Making her debut in 1993, Rau was described and earned recognition as being one of the first players in Indian women’s cricket to attempt to take advantage of the field restrictions which are put in place. After retiring, she also served as the head coach of the Indian national women’s team from 2014 to 2017.
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Another former cricketer, Pramila captained the national squad in 1 Test match and 7 ODIs. Playing as an all-rounder, she bowled right arm off break and batted middle order. Pramila’s time/tenure as the captain is best remembered for the tied ODI match against New Zealand in the 1997/98 Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Serving as a right-handed batter, she played for India in 5 Test matches and 31 ODIs between 1993 and 2000. Furthermore, she played for the county club Middlesex in 2001 and between 2007 and 2008.
One of the most recognized women’s cricketers out there, Anjum made her international debut at the age of 17 in 1995 against New Zealand. She was a left-handed batter and also bowled medium pace. Anjum played in 12 Tests, 127 ODIs, and 18 T20Is. She carved a niche for herself and became recognized as the face of women’s cricket in India. She was one of the best women’s cricket team captains in India.
Mamatha represented the country in 4 Test matches and 40 ODIs. She played as an all-rounder and captained the side in 2003 and 2004. Since retiring, she has served as the head coach of both the Bangladeshi and Chinese women’s national sides.
The cricketer who redefined women’s cricket and revolutionized it. Mithali is to women’s cricket what Sachin Tendulkar is to men’s cricket. Hailed by many as the best women’s cricketer ever, her feat as the highest run scorer in female cricket is a testament to that. The holder of numerous records, she has also been awarded numerous because of her outstanding accomplishments. These include Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2017, Arjuna Award in 2003, the Padma Shri in 2015, and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2021. She was one of the best women’s cricket team captains of India.
The right arm fast bowler is also regarded highly in the cricketing circuit. Prior to her retirement in 2022, She played 204 ODI matches taking 255 wickets, and holds the record for taking the most number of wickets in Women’s One Day International cricket. She was awarded with the ICC Women’s Player of the Year award in 2007 and also the M.A. Chidambaram trophy for Best Women’s Cricketer in 2011.
Smriti Mandhana has taken the world of cricket by storm. She was the most expensive player in Women’s IPL 2023. A left handed batter, Smriti has showcased her class and skill set on numerous occasions. In June 2018, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) awarded her ‘the Best Women’s International Cricketer’. In February 2019, she was appointed as the captain of the Indian Women’s T20I squad for the three-match series against England. Taking charge in the first T20I held in Guwahati, she became the youngest T20I captain for India, leading the women’s team against England.
Harmanpreet Kaur is doing a fantastic job as the skipper of the women national squad. An all-rounder, she has delivered whenever the need has arisen. In November 2018, Kaur became the first woman for India to score a century in a Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) match. Her list of accomplishments further include her becoming the first cricketer for India, male or female, to play in 100 international Twenty20 matches. In 2017, she was awarded the Arjuna Award.