Hangzhou [China], September 23 (ANI): Cricketers Titas Sadhu and Shafali Verma part of the Women's cricket team, which secured a historic gold for India at the Asian Games 2023 in China's Hangzhou on Monday were overjoyed with the win, which they said will motivate them. India women (116/7) beat Sri Lanka women (97/8) in the final by 19 runs to win the gold medal A fiery spell by Titas Sandhu and tight spin bowling from Deepti Sharma and Devika Vaidya helped India defend a modest total of 117 runs.
The Indian women's team has captured a gold medal in their debut Asian Games outing.
Speaking to ANI, Sadhu said, "This is a really special feeling because we don't get the chance every day to win a Gold medal, especially at a stage like the Asian Games...I can convey my feelings only like - goosebumps. It is thrilling to be standing there with the National Anthem, playing because it is a tribute to not just us but our country."Indian spin bowler Shafali Verma also said that she feels proud to win the gold.
"Of course, it feels great because we work hard to win. We won and we are delighted. We feel proud. Thanks to India for all the support. If (we get an opportunity) at the Olympics, we will give our everything and win Gold there too," Verma said. When asked whether cricket be included as a game in the Olympics so that the team can win more gold, Jemimah Rodrigues said that there could be "no better feeling than winning an Olympic Gold medal." "No better feeling than adding to the medal tally of India," Jemimah Rodrigues said. Growing up I used to play hockey, I always thought I would play the Commonwealth and the Olympics for India as a hockey player, God has his own ways and here I am playing cricket in the Asian Games in the Commonwealth and now hopefully in the Olympics. There is no better feeling than winning an Olympic Gold medal. According to reports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to make a call on the inclusion of new sports including Cricket for the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. More than 100 IOC members will vote in Mumbai this October.
Speaking to reporters here, Rodrigues said that they have also spoken to the men's cricket team and urged them to bring home a gold too.
"We have spoken to the men's team. We have told them that we are bringing a gold you also bring it, there is no pressure at the end, just play the best cricket," Rodrigues said. Star batter Smriti Mandhana turned emotional as the Indian National Anthem was played after the win.
"This is very special. We have seen this on TV. When Neeraj Chopra won the Gold, I had a match...When the National Anthem was played and India's National Flag went up, I think it was pretty special and I had tears in my eyes...Really happy that we could contribute to the medal tally of the Indian contingent...Gold is Gold...Really happy that we gave our best today," Mandhana told ANI.
The Indian women's team elected to bat first and gave a target of 117/7 with the help of Smriti Mandhana (46) and Jemimah Rodrigues (42) innings.
For Sri Lanka, Udeshika Prabodhani took 2/16, Inoka Ranaweera picked up two wickets for 21 runs while Sugandika Kumari also cleared up two scalps for 30.
Chasing a low target, India restricted Sri Lanka to 97/8 to win the first-ever gold.
Titas was the pick of the bowler, taking three scalps for just 6 runs. Rajeshwari Gayakwad took two wickets while Devika Vaidya picked up one wicket. (ANI)