As the world celebrated International Women’s Day with zest on March 8, we bring before you a few women players who have done India proud internationally in the recent times. Let’s celebrate their success.
Sania Mirza: She is the most dominant female sports personality in India. She finished the year as World No. 1 in doubles along with Martina Hingis, besides notching up back-to-back Grand Slam doubles titles and clinching WTA Finals crown two years in a row. She is currently at a career-best No. 1 WTA rank in doubles, the first Indian female to achieve the feat. Sania, who is set to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (country’s top sporting honour) for her achievements in women’s tennis, is only the second Indian tennis player after Leander Paes to be named for it.
Saina Nehwal: Saina Nehwal is the first woman in India’s sporting history to reach the World No 1 rank in badminton. After Prakash Padukone she brought back life to badminton in India. Inspired by her, many girls took up badminton as a career. Following her path, PV Sindhu and many has come on to the world badminton platform. India’s sporting landscape is a male dominated with cricket being the country’s most followed sport. However, the range in the earnings from cricket for professionals is huge with the men earning more money compared to women. “It’s difficult to play any other sport in a cricket-mad country, especially if you are a woman,” said Nehwal after clinching the No 1 badminton rank by beating Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in Indian Open Super Series final in New Delhi.
Mithali Raj: She is the first woman from India and Asia to score a double hundred in Tests. She held the record for the highest score in Women’s Tests – 214 against England. She led the Indian team to the finals in the Women’s World Cup of 2005 where the team lost to Australia. Her composure when at the crease and ability to score briskly make her a dangerous cricketer. Raj is the second person to achieve 5,000 runs in ODI women cricket.
MC Mary Kom: Coming from a poor family in Manipur to the five-time world champion, Mary Kom is the absolute poster child for women in sports. She was humiliated in her childhood by her family members, society for learning boxing which isn’t a woman thing. She proved that a sportsperson career need not be bogged down by pressures of family commitments.