When former India star Neetu David and wicket-keeper Rita Dey arrived at the Green Park Stadium, nostalgia gripped the duo. It was at this very ground in Kanpur that the two first learned the tricks of the trade before making the cut into the Indian cricket team.
The two were honored by the BCCI for their achievements and contributions to Indian Cricket with a one-time benefit payment during the VIVO IPL 2017 match 50 between Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils. Neetu received a cheque of INR 30 lakhs (for playing 25 matches) while Rita was handed a cheque of Rs 10 lakhs (for playing 1-9 matches).
For David, it was an unique experience of returning to the place to watch a cricket match instead of taking part in one. “I have played a lot of cricket here and this is the first time I have come to watch a match. It feels amazing.
“I am very happy that through IPL we have been given a one-time benefit amount. It is a big honour and a big boost to women's cricket in India. The next generation will also benefit from this and we can further improve women's cricket in the country.
David, the first Indian woman cricketer to take 100 ODI wickets hailed Jhulan Goswami’s feat of becoming the highest wicket taker in Women’s ODIs. “It is a big achievement. It a such a huge milestone to reach and it will have a tremendous impact on the young girls who are playing cricket currently. She is an inspiration to so many cricketers.” A stalwart of the game, she picked up 141 wickets in just 97 ODI matches during her 13-year long career. With Goswami, she is the only other Indian to feature in top-five wicket takers’ list in ODIs. David also holds the record for best bowling figures in an innings. In 1995 in a Test at Jameshedpur, the left-arm spinner had dismantled the English line-up, taking 8/53 in 31.3 overs.
For Dey, Goswami is a living legend. “I'd like to congratulate her on this fantastic achievement. Both Mithali Raj and Goswami are living legends. This is a proud moment for Indian cricket. The young girls are already following in her footsteps. She is a role model to so many and she continues to inspire.”