Nine former India Women cricketer were honoured MCC Life Membership.  Top row (left to right): Diana Edulji, Shantha Rangaswamy, Shubhangi Kulkarni) Bottom row (left to right): Sudha Shah, Neetu David, Amita Sharma    AFP, Getty Images and Shantha Rangaswamy Facebook account
Nine former India Women cricketer were honoured MCC Life Membership.
Top row (left to right): Diana Edulji, Shantha Rangaswamy, Shubhangi Kulkarni)
Bottom row (left to right): Sudha Shah, Neetu David, Amita Sharma AFP, Getty Images and Shantha Rangaswamy Facebook account

A few days ago, nine former Indian women cricketers were given honorary life membership by MCC: Diana Edulji, Shantha Rangaswamy, Shubhangi Kulkarni, Sudha Shah, Sandhya Agarwal, Gargi Banerji, Shashi Gupta and Amita Sharma will join Anjum Chopra (who was made an honorary member in 2016) as life members of MCC. CricketCountry takes a closer look at these superstars and their achievements on the field.

Diana Edulji (1976-1993)

Edulji, a left-arm spinner, is India s highest wicket taker in Test cricket with 63 victims in 20 matches, four in which she was captain. She was also India s first ODI captain, appointed in 1978, and went on to lead the team in 19 matches. She was the leader of the Indian bowling attack throughout her career, forming a deadly partnership with Shubhangi Kulkarni. Edulji picked up 46 wickets in 34 ODIs at an impressive average of 16.84.

All through her career, Edulji has been known as a rebel, fighting for the players cause and trying to help further women s cricket in the country. She later became a commentator, and raised quite a stir when she walked out of the commentary box when she found out her male colleagues earned significantly more. She served as the Senior Sports Secretary of Western Railway and helped a number of talented young athletes get jobs.

She is now a member of the Committee of Administrators appointed by the Supreme Court to run the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Did you know?

In 1986, Edulji, then captain of the Indian team, was refused entry into the pavilion at Lord s pavilion because she was a woman.

Shantha Rangaswamy (1976-1991)

The pioneer of women s cricket in India, Rangaswamy was a woman of many firsts. She was India s first Test captain, and went on to lead the country in 12 of the 16 Tests she played. She led India to its first Test series victory in 1976 against West Indies, where she led the way with a tally of 381 runs at an average of 42.33. Her 108 against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1977 was India s first Test century, and her only ODI half-century was also India s first.

Rangaswamy was a batting all-rounder who played an aggressive style of cricket. She was a destroyer with the bat and bowled deadly in-swingers with the new ball as well. She scored 750 runs and took 21 wickets in her Test career; and also managed 287 runs and 12 wickets in the 19 ODIs she played, 16 of which she was captain.

Once she hung up her boots, Rangaswamy took on many roles, including that of coach, manager, commentator and selector. Her contributions both on and off the field helped lay a strong foundation for women s cricket in India, which brought her the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award from BCCI.

Did you know?

Rangaswamy was the first Indian woman to hit a six in Test match cricket. The feat was achieved at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore against West Indies in 1976.

Shubhangi Kulkarni (1976-1991)

A leg-spinner and lower-order batter, Kulkarni played 19 Tests and 27 ODIs. With 60 wickets in Tests, she is India s second highest wicket taker in the format. She picked up five 5-wicket hauls, including one on debut against West Indies in 1976. Her ODI tally of 38 wickets came at an average of 17.60.

Kulkarni was also a useful batter, scoring 118 against England in 1986. She loved batting against England it seems, with more than a third of her 700 Test runs coming against that opposition (250 runs at an average of 65).

Her exploits on the field though, are overshadowed by her achievements off it. Kulkarni served as Secretary of Women s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) during India s most successful World Cup campaign, in 2005, where they reached the final. She helped secure a three-year sponsorship deal with Sahara just before the tournament, and also played an important role in the talks with the BCCI, preceding the merger of the boards in 2006.

Did you know?

Shubhangi Kulkarni led India in 3 Tests and an ODI.

Sudha Shah (1976-1991)

Another member of India s first Test team in 1976, Shah played 21 Tests and 13 ODIs. She was known for her tight technique and endless patience, scoring 894 runs in her international career.

In the domestic circuit, where she represented Tamil Nadu, she almost single-handedly carried her team through tournaments in the early days.

After retirement, Shah served as coach of the Indian team for many years. She was in charge when India reached the 2005 World Cup final in South Africa, and when they secured Test series wins in England in 2006 and 2014.

Did you know?

Shah has played the most Tests for India, one more than Edulji.

Sandhya Agarwal (1984-1995)

An opening batter from Indore, Agarwal was India s run machine. She amassed 1,110 runs in 13 Tests at an astonishing average of 50.45. In only her first international series, Agarwal accumulated scores of 74, 134 and 83 in a Test series against Australia.

Two years later, in 1986, on her first tour of England, she smashed two centuries 132 at Blackpool and 190 and Worcester, then a world record for the highest Test score. Her tally of 4 centuries is the second-most in Test cricket, one behind Janette Britain of England who has five.

Agarwal s ODI record is middling in comparison. In 21 matches she scored 567 runs at an average of 31.50 including 4 half-centuries.

Did you know?

Sandhya Agarwal batted close to 9 hours during her epic innings of 190 against England in 1986.

Neetu David (1995-2008)

David, a left-arm spinner of high class, was one of India s finest bowlers. She was the first Indian to pick up 100 ODI wickets, finishing her career with 141 scalps in 97 matches at an average of 16.34.

Throughout her career, David was one of the most-feared bowlers in the world. Her pin-point accuracy, tantalizing loop and drift made her a batter s nightmare. When the going was tough, she was almost always the bowler India called on.

Since her career coincided with the growing popularity of ODI cricket, David played only 10 Tests. She picked up 41 wickets, a tally that included 4 four-wicket hauls and a five-wicket haul. Her 8 for 53 in a Test against England in Jamshedpur in 1995 are the best bowling figures in an innings.

Did you know?

Neetu David retired from international cricket in 2006, only to be called out of retirement early in 2008 after which she played in the Asia Cup and in India s tour to England where she played her last match in September.

Gargi Banerji (1978-1991)

Banerji, an opening batter from Bengal, made her international debut even before the age of 15, in a World Cup match against England at the Eden Gardens in 1978. She had to wait close to six years to make an appearance on the Test arena, but made a mark straightaway, scoring 63 in the second innings against Australia.

Banerji scored 614 runs in 12 Tests including 6 half-centuries, 2 of which came against England in Blackpool in1986 an achievement that was overshadowed by Agarwal s record-breaking innings. She also served as a national selector for two terms.

Did you know?

Banerji holds the record for India s second-best bowling figures in a Test 6 for 9 against New Zealand in Cuttack in 1985.

Shashi Gupta (1984-1991)

Gupta was an all-rounder a pace bowler who batted in the lower middle-order. In 13 Tests she scored 452 runs and also picked up 25 wickets. Her best match figures of 8 for 100 came against Australia in Lucknow in 1984. She also played 20 ODIs scoring 263 runs including a half-century, and taking 15 wickets. She is now a national selector.

Did you know?

Gupta is only one of three Indian women who has managed the series double of 100 runs and 10 wickets she scored 138 runs and took 10 wickets against New Zealand in 1985.

Amita Sharma (2002- 2014)

One of India s most dynamic players in recent times, Sharma was a terrific pace bowler, a powerful striker of the ball, and a livewire in the field. In a career spanning 12 years, she played 5 Tests, 116 ODIs and 41 T20Is and picked up 108 wickets with her incisive swing bowling. Sharma s consistent performances during the 2005 World Cup in South Africa where she picked up 14 wickets, helping India reach the final for the first time.

She was an attacking batter who began her career in the lower order, but managed to stake her claim as a top order player in the latter part of her career. Her ability to find the boundary regularly meant she was a key member of the T20I team. Sharma was also one of India s finest fielders, pulling off some spectacular catches. She also served as vice-captain for a few years.

Did you know?

Sharma and Gouher Sultana hold the record for the highest tenth-wicket partnership in an ODI 58 against England in Taunton in 2012.