Tendulkar bats for women's cricket ahead of WC qualifiers

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Feb. 4 (ANI): Ahead of ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers 2017, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has lauded the progress made by the women's cricket in last few years. "The women cricketers have caught the fancy of cricket aficionados around the world with stellar performances and have increased their audience. They have spawned interest in young girls to play the sport and also helping generate a larger following for the game at a time when the game is seeking to expand its footprint globally and become relevant in non-cricket playing countries," Sport24 quoted Tendulkar as saying. The master blaster believes the growth of women's cricket has played a major role in bringing gender equality to an extent. "The year 2017 promises to be an inflection point for women's cricket and rightly reflects the changes taking place in the rest of the world for gender equality and rights," he added. Tendulkar, who is excited about the main Women's World Cup event scheduled to be held later this year, also admitted that the 50-over pinnacle event has played a big role in globalizing the game. "The debut of countries like Thailand at a world stage is remarkable achievement for the game's globalisation efforts. Wishing all the participating countries ahead of the qualifying event starting February 7, Tendulkar also urged fans to wholeheartedly root for their teams. "I wish all the teams the very best for the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers and would urge all of you to wholeheartedly support women's cricket, for the sake of cricket," the cricket icon insisted. Tendulkar further hoped that Indian players namely Jhulan Goswami and captain Mithali Raj would perform at their absolute best in the tournament. "There is our very own Jhulan Goswami, who is quick and gets that extra bit from the wicket and Mithali Raj, our seasoned campaigner from India," he said. Fifth-ranked, India have been placed in Group A alongside Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Thailand. India will play a warm-up match against South Africa on February 5 before its opening Qualifier against hosts Sri Lanka. The top three sides from Group A and Group B will progress to the Super Six stage. The top four sides from the Super Six stage will complete the eight-team line-up for the ICC Women's World Cup 2017. Top two sides will battle it out for the title in the final on February 21. (ANI)