New Delhi: Mithali Raj-led Indian side let the ICC Women's World Cup title slip from their hand as hosts England defeated them by 9 runs to clinch the title for the fourth time.
After restricting England for 228/7 India were on course for a maiden World Cup trophy but suffered a batting collapse, losing seven wickets for 28 runs to end their innings at 219 all out .
Inspite of losing the title, Indian women's cricket team earned plaudits for its gritty World Cup campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the iconic Sachin Tendulkar leading the tributes.
The Indian women's team lost by nine runs to England in a tense summit clash of the World Cup last night, finishing runners-up for the second time -- the previous being the 2005 edition.
"Our women cricketers gave their best today. They have shown remarkable tenacity & skill through the World Cup. Proud of the team! @BCCIWomen," Modi tweeted.
Our women cricketers gave their best today. They have shown remarkable tenacity & skill through the World Cup. Proud of the team! @BCCIWomen— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 23, 2017
The Indian men's team coach Ravi Shastri said Mithali Raj and Co. can take pride for a campaign, during which they beat six-time champions Australia in the semifinals.
"Chin up girls. You have done the country proud. Well done #TeamIndia," he tweeted.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) July 24, 2017
Former cricketers, led by Tendulkar, also hailed the team for their overall performance in the tournament.
"Feel for all of you, #WomenInBlue! You were good throughout but sometimes it is not meant to be. Congrats England on winning #WWC17Final!," said Tendulkar, who was part of India's 2003 World Cup team that had lost the finals to Australia.
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 23, 2017
Virender Sehwag wrote: "Super proud of the girls. Tough luck today but womens cricket in India has truly arrived. Thank you girls. Salute your spirit."
Stylish former batsman VVS Laxman also said the country is proud of the way they performed in the tournament. "To @M_Raj03 & every member of the @BCCIWomen team,you may have lost the finals but you won the hearts of the entire country Proud of u all," he wrote.
Saluting the team, former spinner Bishan Bedi wrote: "All said/done let's salute @M_Raj03's team fr making Ind aware o Women Power n International Crkt-hold yur chin up girls-V r proud o U all!!."
All said/done let's salute @M_Raj03's team fr making Ind aware o Women Power n International Crkt-hold yur chin up girls-V r proud o U all!!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) July 23, 2017
Gautam Gambhir and Mohammed Kaif too paid rich tributes to the side. "You made us dream, You made us believe, We're proud of all you girls! Real honor to hve watched u play! #WWC17Final #WomenInBlue," tweeted Gambhir.
"Congrats England but so so proud of our girls for winning a billion hearts. This will be a defining moment in women's cricket," added Kaif.
Olympic bronze-medallist shooter Gagan Narang wrote: "Despite the outcome welldone @BCCIWomen for the dream run and exceptional performances #WWCFinal17 #INDvsEng Good Luck for the future".
Five-time World Champion MC Mary Kom also saluted the team for their overall display at the World Cup. "My SALUTE to our Indian Women's Cricket team and supporting teams for an excellent performance #WomenInBlue #WWC17," she wrote. India's first Olympic medallist woman wrestler Sakshi Malik echoed the sentiment.
"No matter a game won or lost but you win billions of hearts !! You made all of us proud," the Rio Games bronze- medallist said.
Senior Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin lauded the team's grit. "@BCCIWomen you girls were amazing and never gave up till the end. This I am sure will change the landscape of women's cricket," he said.
Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur also took to social media to hail the team for their inspiring journey. "Dear #WomenInBlueyou are our CHAMPIONS & we're immensely proud of you today! What a beautifully inspiring journey! @BCCIWomen," he wrote.
Actor Akshay Kumar shared a photograph with the team's players and captioned it, "Even Broken Hearts Can Laugh!! These Women have started a revolution & I couldn't be more proud."...