The visiting Indian women’s cricket team led by Harmanpreet Kaur was officially welcomed by Australia’s Governor General David Hurley this week.
With his wife Linda Hurley beside him, he hosted them at a morning tea at Admiralty House, his home in Sydney.
The Governor General told the cricketers, “It is always nice to welcome an Indian cricket team to Australia and to watch them play here. As a women’s cricket team, you are role models not only in cricket but also in health and fitness. Many young girls will come out to watch you play, and they’ll be wishing they could be where you are.”
Also attending were the cricketers of the Governor General’s XI, a team that played a match against the Indian girls a few hours later at Drummoyne, NSW.
The High Commissioner of India to Australia Gitesh Sarma, and the Consul General of India (Sydney) Manish Gupta were also present on the occasion.
If the Indian squad are under pressure ahead of their games, they certainly did not show it, the easy camaraderie between them more than evident. They greeted their Aussie counterparts politely, and then got busy taking photos and selfies with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the background.
Harmanpreet led her squad of Indian women’s cricket team well, thanking the Governor General and his wife and complimenting her opponents.
Later that day, Drummoyne Oval made an excellent ground for a friendly game between the Governor General’s XI and the Indian team.
Watched by a small but enthusiastic crowd, this was a chance for visiting Indian players to get used to the Australian playing conditions. Batting first, the Indians got off to a flying start scoring 19 before losing their first wicket. A scintillating innings of 49 by Jemimah Rodrigues, ably supported by her captain Harmanpreet Kaur with 21, helped India reach a modest total of 5 for 113 in their 20 overs.
Though there were moments when it seemed as though the Indians would be able to contain the GG’s XI, the local Aussies just proved too strong.
The GG’s XI was able to strike good partnerships at crucial moments, and with knocks of 35 by Tahlia McGrath, 30 by Bridget Patterson and an unbeaten 25 by Phoebe Litchfield, got to their target with 5 balls to spare.
Yet it was a good first warm-up game for the Indians as they head to a tri-nation series with England and hosts Australia, ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup T20 (21 Feb to 8
When the men’s team visits, a similar friendly is held against the Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.