The Indian women’s cricket team, led by Mithali Raj, is set to start their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign against hosts England on June 24.But the ‘cricket-crazy nation’ is still fixated with Indian men’s loss to Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final and the Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble fiasco.Yes, the women’s team have won the qualifying tournament and are participating in the World Cup, starting tomorrow, but India would be more excited to watch the men’s team decimate a weakened West Indies unit.Mithali Raj will be playing in the World Cup for the fifth time and yet, in the press conference, she was asked who her favourite male cricketer is.Photo Credit: BCCI Rightly so, Raj retaliated by counter-questioning the journalist if they “ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?”Though India boasts of being a nation that breaths cricket, worships the game but we fail to realise that we don’t breath the game but only the men’s game.Mithali Raj said in England, “There’s a lot of difference because we are not a regular on television. Now the BCCI has made an effort that the last two home series have been televised and social media has improved a lot of it but there is a still a lot of catch-up to do in terms of recognition.”The skipper spoke the truth! How many names do we ‘cricket-frenzy people’ know from our women’s team? Mithali Raj’s name would come out smilingly as a testimony that we do know about our women’s team but do we mention only Virat Kohli when we are asked of our men’s team?advertisementWhen Virat Kohli makes or breaks a record, we talk about it for days, bringing it up every now and then but when the news broke that Indian openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut stitched the highest opening stand in ODIs, overtaking the 286-run stand by Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya in men’s cricket, the standard reaction was ‘Oh really! Wow!’ and that’s it. The conversation ended there, the admiration was just momentary.Come to think of it, did we even know their names till they created that world record? That’s the scenario for women’s cricket in a nation that is called the haven of cricket.While our country massively rallies behind our female shuttlers, tennis players and all individual sports, where does that spirit go when it’s a team sport like cricket and football?Jhulan Goswami is the leading wicket-taker in women’s ODIs with 185 wickets and Mansi Joshi and Shikha Pandey will be the other medium pacers alongside her in the World Cup in England in apparently seam bowling conditions.Jhulan Goswami (Photo Credit: BCCI) But if the Champions Trophy is anything to go by, we have Ekta Bisht spearheading the Indian spin department that consists of three quality and wicket-taking spinners – the other two being Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav.Just like the men’s team, batting is India’s strength. India will depend on Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut for some explosive opening, while Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy bring the much-dependable experience.Poonam Raut (Photo Credit: ICC) Indian women’s team is as passionate for the game as the men; consider the fact that the likes of Raj and Goswami have stuck by Indian women’s cricket when their passion didn’t pay them back much.There’s a saying, ‘Walk the talk’ – cricket crazy we claim to be as a nation, then love cricket not just men’s cricket.EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEAM:SQUAD: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Sushma Verma, Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parween, Smriti MandhanaSCHEDULE OF MATCHES:June 24: India vs England – 3.00 pmJune 29: India vs West Indies – 3.00 pmJuly 2: India vs Pakistan – 3.00 pmJuly 5: India vs Sri lanka – 3.00 pmJuly 8: India vs South Africa – 3.00 pmJuly 12: India vs Australia – 3.00 pmJuly 15: India vs New Zealand – 3.00 pm
GOOD+ Foundation raised more than $600,000 at its annual Bash event last week at Victorian Gardens in Central Park.Jessica And Jerry Seinfeld Attend 2017 NY BASHCredit/Copyright: GETTY IMAGES FOR GOOD+ FOUNDATIONThe family-fun party featured carnival rides, face painting, costumed characters and specially curated kid-friendly activities designed by event sponsors for 1,100 guests including hosts Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld, and other special attendees, including Veronica Swanson Beard, Megan Boone, David Burtka, Stacey Bendet Eisner, Melissa Joan Hart, Gabriela Hearst, and Ali Wentworth.Host Committee members included Julia Austin, Jordana Blitz, Georgina Bloomberg, Rachel Blumenthal, Wendy Cherwin, Samantha Cohen, Danielle Devine, Maria Duenas Jacobs, Jessica Karp, Kara Moore, Florinka Pesenti and Gillian Hearst Simonds.Gold Sponsors were Hearst and Johnson & Johnson. Additional sponsorship provided by Bai Beverages, Pure Spoon, Skip Hop, Baby Bjorn, Chicco, Fairy Tales Hair Care, Supergoop!, Goodie Girl Cookies & Toufayan’s Gluten Free Pita Chips, Kenneth Cole, New York Knicks, Plum Organics®, Design History Girls, Hu Kitchen, Framebridge, Monica + Andy, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Terez.“Our friends and sponsors who help make this afternoon possible are helping change lives because their support funds our work to build stronger families,” said GOOD+ Foundation Founder and President Jessica Seinfeld. “At GOOD+, we have learned that strengthening the entire family starts with helping the parents first, and the overwhelming success of Bash every year shows that New York City supports what we are doing, and that is truly inspiring.”In its 11th year, the annual NY Bash event has become a highly anticipated New York City tradition, marking the end of the school year and bringing the organization’s long-time friends and program families together to celebrate the day and support families in need.Families from four GOOD+ Foundation network sites serving new mothers and fathers – CUNY’s Fatherhood Academy, Forestdale Inc., LSA Family Health Services, and STRIVE International, also enjoyed the event. These programs provide low-income parents with the support and training they need to be strong and stable caregivers for their children. GOOD+ Foundation provides mothers and fathers enrolled in these important programs with essential items such as diapers and cribs to be used as incentives while they meet milestones that benefit the whole family.