Bengaluru: The book ‘The Fire Burns Blue: A History of Women’s Cricket in India’ was released in the presence of former India women’s team captains Mamatha Maben and Pramila Bhatt here on Wednesday.

The book is authored by Sidhanta Patnaik and Karunya Keshav.

Commenting on the book, Karunya said, "The journey of women's cricket has many actors. This is an effort to tell the incredible, inspiring stories beyond the headlines, of those who played with passion and for little else, against the odds."

Elaborating on statistical progress of Indian women’s cricket team, Sidhanta said, "Initially, the games were so less that there are far less numbers to compare with. But over a period of time, India now has three best figures on their side. The best bowling figure in an innings in Test cricket in India, highest runs by Mithali Raj, and obviously Jhulan Goswami who is the highest wicket-taker. That’s a remarkable achievement for a country."

The launch witnessed an indulging discussion among the panelists. It was moderated by noted cricketer writer and author Suresh Menon. Sidhanta engaged in conversation with Pramila over the early days of her captaincy of the Indian women’s team. Karunya highlighted changes in the scenario from the 1970s to what women’s cricket in India is right now.

Putting forward her views on Indian women’s cricket journey so far, Mamatha said, "This is a momentous occasion for women’s cricket. I am so delighted to be a part of this journey."

Commenting on the early days of women’s cricket in India, Pramila said, "From a two-line brief in a corner of a newspaper to a book on women’s cricket, women’s cricket has come a long way."

‘The Fire Burns Blue’ is a factual compilation of lesser-known history of women’s cricket in India. It traces the origin of women’s cricket in India, from spearheads like Diana Edulji and Shantha Rangaswamy to the ones in the limelight today like Mithali and Harmanpreet Kaur.

It also puts forward detailed accounts of hardship the Indian women’s cricket team had faced over the years in terms of absence of administrative support, crunch of funds and public passivity. Despite the setbacks Indian women’s cricket team has continued to grow and flourish.