Potchefstroom: Nooshin Al Khadeer, the head coach of the Indian team that clinched the title in the inaugural 2023 U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, said Sunday’s victory at the JB Marks Oval shows the kind of depth women’s cricket presently has in the country.
“Fabulous, this is the feeling we have been waiting for very long. This is the first time we won the cup and it has come with the U-19 kids. Just shows the kind of depth we have and what is there for us in the future. The most special thing is the belief,” she said after the match ended.
It was a dominating campaign for India barring the seven-wicket defeat to Australia in the Super Sixes. “I knew they had a bad game against Australia, but the way they have gathered and played thereafter, we kept it very simple and we thought we would just play proper and simple cricket and we would achieve this,” she added.
Nooshin was a part of the India squad that finished runners-up to Australia in the 2005 ODI World Cup final in South Africa. Now 18 years later, life came full circle for her as she lifted the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup trophy as a head coach, adding another feather to her illustrious cap as a coach.
“From the National anthem and till the time we won, we had goosebumps. I personally realise and understand how special this is for us. To live it from the young girls it’s commendable. We have been waiting very long for a cup. We have a good future back in India. God has been kind and I’m keeping it simple,” she stated.
Gongadi Trisha, who made a crucial 24 in the final and shared a 46-run stand with Soumya Tiwari for the third wicket in a chase of 69, was elated over lifting the trophy. “It’s just a proud moment, it is our first World Cup. Everyone (friends, family, coaches and everyone watching in Bhadrachalam and Telangana) are supper happy and they are waiting for this day.”
Off-spinner Archana Devi, who took two wickets in the match and had a superb one-handed catch, conceded to be really happy about winning the trophy. “We have achieved what we have come here for and couldn’t have asked for anything better. I want to say to all the supporters, mentors and coaches back home to support us always. I keep practising the catches and glad it came off in the game.”
Richa Ghosh, the wicketkeeper-batter, said she will take the learnings from this World Cup title to the Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in South Africa from February 10-26. “It’s a superb feeling. I was waiting for the U-19 for the last three years and this is my last chance to play in the U-19. So happy, we won the World Cup.”
“They (all the girls in the U19 team) all have positive energy and I really enjoyed my time with them. We will take the positives and momentum into the senior World Cup as well. We are looking forward to the World Cup as well. If we win two World Cups that will be super special, but we will take it one game at a time.”