Today we talk about 1978 Womens Cricket World Cup. The time is 1978- a tumultuous period in the history of Indian politics when the country is still trying to emerge from the dangerous curbs imposed by the incumbent government of Indira Gandhi by declaring that the State would observe a national emergency.
The country is fraught with challenges that were extremely necessary for India to establish itself as one of the leading middle-income countries in the world. That is exactly when as a boon India had the opportunity to become the first Asian country to host the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
This was the second edition of the Women’s World Cup, first time held in India. Before this, there was the Inaugural Women’s World Cup which was held in England in 1974.
India had made a bid to host the 1978 Womens Cricket World Cup. Initially, the International Cricket Council for Women had granted South Africa the right to hold the tournament. But owing to the political issues surrounding the apartheid and the events taking place therein, South Africa decided to withdraw from hosting the tournament which made the onus fall on India.
Initially, five teams were invited to participate in the World Cup. However, the Netherlands and West Indies though initially considered in the scheme of things were forced to withdraw from the competition due to the lack of funds necessary for participating teams in the tournament.
They were unable to arrange the required facilities for their players. Thus the 1978 Womens Cricket World Cup was played with only four participating teams- hosts India, Australia, England, and New Zealand. This was the lowest number of teams participating in any cricket tournament in the history of the game.
Australia became the eventual champion lifting the world cup for the first time. The tournament was held in a round-robin format with each time getting a chance to play three matches. Since Australia remained undefeated and had the maximum number of points they were crowned champions in the World Cup.
Margaret Jennings from Australia was the highest run-scorer in the 1978 Womens Cricket World Cup with 127 runs in 3 innings with an average of 63.50 and the highest score of 57. Following her in close heels were players like Barbara Bevege of New Zealand who scored 126 runs in 3 innings at an average of 63.00 and the highest score of 67 and Lynne Thomas of England with 109 runs in 3 innings at an average of 53.50 and the highest score of 47.
The top five list was complete with the inclusion of Sharon Tredrea who scored 87 runs in 2 innings with an average of 43.50 and the highest score of 56 and Wendy Hills of Australia scoring 66 from 3 innings at an average of 22.00 and the highest score of 64.
Sharyn Hill from Australia was the highest wicket-taker in the 1978 Womens Cricket World Cup . She bowled 30 overs and took 7 wickets at an average of 7.57 and a strike rate of 25.71. Next to her was Sharon Tredrea from Australia who took 6 wickets from 25 overs bowled with an average of 7.00 and a strike rate of 25.00 and Pat Carrick of New Zealand with 6 wickets from 29 overs at an average of 17.66 and a strike rate of 29.00.
The last two bowlers on the list are Glynis Hullah of England and Peta Verco of Australia. They took 5 wickets from 21.00 overs and 5 wickets from 23.00 overs respectively. They had a magnificent average and a strike rate of 6.80 and 25.40 and 7.40 and 27.60 respectively.
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