Getting to know the Indian Women Team skipper Mithali Raj
Cricket as a sport in India is rightly referred to as a religion.
The young and old, male and female, be it anyone, the sport has the power to unite the nation as one. That is one of the reasons why we have produced cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar then and Virat Kohli now.
However, many fans forget the other side of the sport, the women’s team which has equal amount of talent in their ranks.
India boasts of having the highest run getter in both ODI’s and T20’s in Mithali Raj who has been an inspiration for many in the country.
Talking in an interview, the Indian women’s team skipper spoke about her life in general and the problems faced by her team in the country.
It is a known fact that the 33-year old had to give up on her passion of dancing to get into the cricket field but she explained with a smile that the decision of getting into the sport was one taken by her parents and that she was happy with it.
“They (parents) took most career decisions for me when I was young. I became a cricketer because they wanted me to be one,” she said.
She also explained how she actually got into the sport and revealed that she used to wait outside the ground for her father who was also a cricketer.
“Actually, when I was young, I used to go with my father where he practiced. I used to stand outside the ground, and returned the ball when it came my way. That was how it started,” Mithali revealed.
She also had an interesting take on practicing her skills with the boys.
She felt that the physical superiority of men does not make them more skilled and that women are on par with men in that matter.
“Practicing with, say, Ranji Trophy cricketers will definitely help.”
“Having said that, when it comes to pure skill, I strongly believe we are at par with the men,” she added.
She also spoke about her inspiration and mentioned her mom but revealed that anyone who struggles to attain success inspires her.
The Indian skipper also opened up about what the nation should do to promote women’s cricket.
She said,” I believe that if you need something to be popular, you need to market it at the grass-root level. Women are following cricket more than they used to, especially after IPL has come in: why not capture that audience?”
“Women’s international matches are typically played at smaller venues. They can always promote these matches in these cities beforehand,” she added.
The 33-year old spoke about the chemistry in the team and felt that the younger girls in the team enjoy themselves. However, she felt that when they are on the field, all of them are equal professionals.
“These days we are a more casual and friendlier.”
“They enjoy themselves together, but we talk among ourselves a lot as well. On the ground, of course, we are all equals and professionals,” she added.
She went on to heap praise on her home city and revealed why Hyderabad, a city in the Telangana state of India has the knack of producing female sportsperson like Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza to name a few.
“What I can say is whenever any of us has achieved something, we have always received recognition from Hyderabad media and Government. Receiving Government acknowledgement and support play major role in the success of any sportsperson,” she said.
She refused to point out one single proudest moment in her career and said that every time she is out on the field under pressure, it is a moment to savour.
“There has not been one particular moment. I have batted under pressure several times. Whenever I have played under pressure and have overcome it, it became a special moment for me,” she added.
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