India women's U19 world champions receive $600,000 bonus

Shafali Verma guides team to victory over England in the final in South Africa

India players team after winning the women's U19 World Cup final against England in Potchefstroom on Sunday, January 29, 2023. Photo: ICC
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India's women's team received numerous accolades and a hefty reward as they beat England in South Africa to win the inaugural Under-19 World Cup title.

Rising star Shafali Verma made up for the pain of defeat in the 2020 senior women's T20 World Cup final against Australia as she captained the U19 team to a seven-wicket victory in the final in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

Titas Sadhu, 18, led the bowling attack to dismiss England for 68. The total did not challenge the Indian team as the batters overhauled the target with six overs to spare and handed England their first loss of the tournament.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, superstar member's of the Indian men's teams, led the tributes, hailing the women's victory as a "special moment".

"Big congratulations to the U-19 girls cricket team for winning the World Cup. Well done on making the nation proud," Rohit, the senior men's team captain, tweeted.

"U-19 World Cup Champions! What a special moment! Congratulations girls on your triumph," Former captain Kohli tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board announced a cash prize of more than $600,000 and invited the U19 champions to witness the third and final T20 men's match between India and New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

"Women's cricket in India is on the upswing and the World Cup triumph has taken the stature of women's cricket several notches higher," BCCI secretary Jay Shah wrote on Twitter.

"This is surely a path-breaking year."

India's win comes at the perfect time as players from across the country and world prepare for the inaugural Women's Premier League T20 tournament in March.

The BCCI recently earned $572.5 million from bids from five franchise teams in the tournament.

The media rights for the league were sold for $116.7 million to Viacom18 for the next five seasons.

"The timing of this historic win combined with the pending Women's IPL has the potential to shift the balance of power in the women's game in a few years," said West Indies cricketer-turned-commentator Ian Bishop.

England captain Grace Scrivens remained upbeat despite falling at the final hurdle.

England's youngsters had successfully defended 100 to beat Australia in their semi-final, but after being put in to bat in Potchefstroom, they managed a meagre total of 68.

Scrivens hailed her side for their attitude throughout the competition.

"Obviously it's a hard pill to swallow and the girls are a bit gutted," she said. "But I think the way we played throughout the tournament was unbelievable."

When asked what she said to the players following England's first-innings collapse, Scrivens said: "The message was 'let's keep backing ourselves and let's try and go again'. But it's a tough one when you're trying to defend a low score.

"But I think we still backed ourselves - obviously India batted well and made well of that total."

Updated: January 30, 2023, 9:25 AM