Harsha Bhogle reacts to Van Niekerk’s controversial statement



Yesterday was one of the most important days of the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Four of the best teams had to battle it out against each to find a place in the epic summit clash at the iconic MCG. The four teams were – England, India, Australia, and South Africa. The first semi-final was going to be played against India and England in Sydney. But the rain gods had different plans. The rains lashed the entire area and forced the match officials to abandon the game without even a single ball being bowled.

India qualified for the finals while England felt gutted by the decision. Meanwhile, in the second semi-final, the rain receded and the spectators got to see a game between Australia and South. Even when the rain reduced the South African chase to 13 overs, the might Australians came out as winners and qualified to play for the sixth T20 World Cup final.

After the game, the skipper of the South African team, Dane Van Niekerk, gave a controversial statement that has been doing rounds since yesterday, dividing the fans in knowing if she is right or wrong. While talking in the post-match press conference, the South African skipper applauded the groundsmen for making the ground ready for a game and categorically noted that it is better to have lost while playing rather than getting a free ticket to the finals.

Her comments drew a lot of praise from social media but some criticized Van Niekerk for making such remarks. One such person was none other than Harsha Bhogle. The Indian cricketer quoted a netizen’s tweet, who had cited Van Niekerk’s statement, and said that the players are not given a chance to get a free pass for the finals.

“Except that it isn’t your choice whether to play or get a free pass!” Van Niekerk said.  

The voice of Indian cricket further stated that it is not a free pass for India, it is actually the result for playing dominating cricket throughout the group stage.  

The Women in Blue won all the four group-stage encounter and because they topped the table in their group, they managed to qualify for the finals even when the semi-final clash was washed out. If the second game between Australia and South Africa would also have abandoned, then Van Niekerk’s side would have gone through to the finals to face India but unfortunately, the rains gods favoured the host nation Australia.

The final of the ICC Women’s T220 World Cup between Australia and India will be played on March 8.