In the end, it’s the moments around the winning and losing that we tend to remember.
England’s women team had just iced a heart-stopping run-chase against their South African counterparts. Anya Shrubsole, England’s No.10, was the heroine, crashing a boundary from the penultimate ball to propel her team to a dream final at Lord’s.
The consequences of an English defeat, not just for the team and their immediate fans but for women’s cricket in general in the country, were barely comprehensible. But even in the delirium of victory, Shrubsole detached herself from the melee, and spying the distraught Dane van Nierkerk, South Africa’s defeated skipper, on her knees, knelt by her side to console her.
The image brought back memories of Andrew Flintoff consoling Brett Lee at the end of the Edgbaston Test of 2005, and provided the landmark ICC Women’s World Cup with the image it was looking for: two warriors, giving everything to the cause, united through the values of togetherness and sportsmanship.