2017 has been a year of mixed emotion and ups and downs for women across the world. The success of women authors and leaders was also tinged with sadness at the many many stories of sexual harassment that came out through the #MeToo movement and other similar campaigns. However, back home in India, one group of women grabbed success by the horns and gave the entire country something to cheer about – the Indian women’s cricket team.
The men in blue have dominated the Indian cricketing industry for a long time, overshadowing the women playing the sport with the same kind of athletic zeal. However, the status quo changed in 2017 when the Indian women’s cricket team turned everything around in their favour. Their dream of winning the World Cup might have been shattered, but the women took centre stage in a world otherwise dominated by men, making July 23 a historic date for Indians everywhere.
Here are some of the tough lessons that the women’s cricket team taught us in 2017:
Winning isn’t important, the will to win is
The Indian women did not emerge victorious in the tournament, but they were successful in winning a million hearts. Making it past the league stages was unthinkable for many before these women made it possible in 2017. They kept fighting until the very end. Their never-say-die attitude brought them to the forefront and that is an attitude we should adopt in all our efforts as well. As team captain Mithali Raj said after a win early in the tournament, “We knew that this tournament wasn’t going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed, whether it was the batters or bowlers, this win has definitely changed the scenario in terms of how the girls will look up to the final.”
It’s all a team effort
Working along with your team is very important, and everyone needs to chip in equally in order to make any task a grand success. The Indian women’s cricket team’s victories were a result of their collective team effort where most, if not all, put up a brilliant show and supported each other’s role admirably. To achieve any milestone, a team effort is key.
Leaders lead from the front
Take a page from Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj’s book to learn how to lead from the front. Every team, be it in sport or in an organisational structure, needs someone who can take charge and lead by example. Both Jhulan and Mithali are excellent examples of good team leaders who not only provided support to their teams but also stepped up and contributed when it was needed. Mithali amassed 409 runs over the course of the tournament, giving the team a sense of stability as well as setting the example to be emulated, and Jhulan set the tone for the team’s bowling performance, particularly with her incisive spell in the final.
Let haters hate
Criticisms will come your way, no matter what you do in life, but that shouldn’t affect your work in any way – a valuable lesson that the women in blue taught us in 2017. Although this country follows cricket with almost godlike fervour, the women’s team was still ignored and ridiculed for a long time before their success. However, the team kept going and eventually proved all the haters wrong with their success.
A hiccup doesn’t end the journey
When it comes to success in the pursuit of one’s dreams, it is easy to feel disheartened by the number of stumbles and difficulties in your way. The women’s cricketing team is not going to let their experience at Lord’s affect their sportsmanship in any way. The same can be applied to life off the pitch as well. Instead of being disheartened, learn from your mistakes, and keep a positive outlook towards your future ventures.
The Indian women’s cricket team took the country by storm this year and captured our collective imaginations. However, their journey is not over yet. Just like they won’t rest on their laurels and will continue to strive for greater success, it is important to not rest on one’s achievements but to keep pushing for growth and development. In the coming year, we hope to see more and more women succeed in the field of sports and become a role model for others. Good luck!