India’s veteran women’s cricketer Mithali Raj was all set to lead the team to their maiden World Cup victory in 2021 but the coronavirus outbreak has marred everyone’s plan. The ICC Women’s World Cup 2021, which was scheduled in February-March in New Zealand, has been postponed to 2022. However, Mithali’s goal standstill as she is focusing on the brighter side.
India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj, who would be 39 by 2022, has agreed that the International Cricket Council had taken the right call to push the tournament to give enough preparatory time to all the teams. Because of the coronavirus hiatus, the Indian team has not got a competitive match since March. Their England tour in July was also called off due to a surge in coronavirus cases and travel restrictions.
Mithali Raj acknowledges that the teams would take some time to get into the groove. And if the World Cup would have scheduled next year, they would have got an extremely tiny window to prepare.
“One has to look at the bright side. The slot for the World Cup was in February and our domestic season will start only in October-November due to Covid-19. That would have meant we would have had just three months of preparation going into the World Cup,” Mithali Raj Said while talking to Hindustan Times.
“After a long break, the players have to start from scratch and will take some time to get into groove. Keeping that in mind, the schedule would have been extremely cramped and taxing for them. With the kind of uncertainty, and to give all teams an equal opportunity to prepare, the postponement looks fine. The players are disappointed as everyone was looking forward to it,” she added.
My Goal is doing well in the next World Cup: Mithali Raj
The 37-year-old Mithali Raj has shifted his goal from 2021 to 2022. She opined that the one-year extension won’t change her plan because she is raring to get back to the ground after getting an extended break.
“I was already planning to play through 2021 and now the plan automatically falls into place as the World Cup is postponed to February, 2022,” she said
“At the moment I am fresh and raring to get back to the ground. My goal has always been doing well in the next World Cup. A year’s extension won’t change that,” she added.
Meanwhile, Mithali Raj last played for India in November against West Indies last year. The Indian legend has, so far, played 209 ODIs and 89 T20Is, scoring 6888 and 2364 runs respectively. She has also featured in 10 Test matches.
She has retired from T20I and Test cricket but leads the women’s team in the 50-over format. Under her captaincy, the team entered the finale of the World Cup 2017 but failed to grab the hand on the coveted trophy.