Deepti Sharma (left), Hemlata Kala (middle) and Poonam Yadav at Agra    IANS
Deepti Sharma (left), Hemlata Kala (middle) and Poonam Yadav at Agra IANS

Agra: Sports lovers of the Taj city accorded a grand welcome to its cricketing stars Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav and national selector Hemlata Kala after the Indian team finished runners-up in the recent ICC Women’s World Cup in England. After a thumping win against Australia in the semi-finals, the Mithali Raj-led women-in-blue narrowly lost by nine runs in Sunday’s final against England at Lord’s. On Friday, the trio of Deepti, Poonam and Hemlata were taken in open vehicles from the Bhagwan Talkies crossing to the Eklavya Stadium, a distance of eight kilometres, with friends and family members. At every crossing they were stopped and garlanded. Mithali names Harmanpreet, Deepti, Smriti as probable future leaders for India

Thousands turned up for the road show, shouting slogans and showering rose petals. Later, a function was held at the stadium where sports persons and local citizens felicitated them and showered praises, lauding their contribution to women’s cricket. Meanwhile, Raj on Thursday picked her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur and youngsters Smriti Mandhana and Deepti to succeed her when she decides to quit the game. Mithali, who recently led the Indian eves to the final of the ICC World Cup which they lost to hosts England in the summit clash at Lord s admitted that she still has two-three years of cricket left in her and added that the next focus is on the ICC Women s World T20 in the West Indies 2018. Poonam Yadav: IND played well as a unit in WWC17

Poonam, who was one of the finds for the team during the ICC Women s World Cup, has said that they wanted to win the prestigious title for legends Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. The Indian eves, who ended up as the runner-ups in the quadrennial global tournament after facing a nine-run defeat against hosts England at The Lord s on July 23, got a rousing reception upon their arrival at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Wednesday morning, as reported by ANI.