Mithali Raj is delighted with the judgment of BCCI to schedule Women’s T20 Challenge in November in the UAE though it’s overlapping with Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). The India women’s ODI captain also raised her voice against the people who were stating that the Indian board is neglecting women’s cricket. Mithali Raj has welcomed the board’s decision.
Earlier, the veteran was worried that they won’t get any match ahead of the World Cup 2021, which is scheduled in February, due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But getting a four-match league during the men’s IPL playoff in the UAE has given her hope for further matches.
The 37-year-old Mithali also stated that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and other officials had always worked to encourage women’s cricket and people should not judge quickly.
“People tend to judge quickly. The BCCI president (Sourav Ganguly), secretary (Jay Shah) and IPL GC chief (Brijesh Patel) have been very encouraging towards women’s cricket”.
“I personally thought we may not even get to play the Challenger trophy (domestic event) because even the men’s IPL was in doubt but these games are most welcome,” Mithali told PTI during an exclusive interview.
Mithali Raj on foreign players disappointed against Women’s T20 Challenge scheduling:
Several foreign players including Healy, Suzie Bates, Rachel Haynes were not happy with the scheduling of Women’s T20 challenge because it is clashing with WBBL. The Australian and Indian players would not get the opportunity to participate in both the leagues.
But Mithali Raj has justified the Indian board’s decision, stating that they did their best.
“I know a lot of people (foreign players) have questioned the timing of it but these are not normal circumstances. Normally, the IPL happens in April-May and doesn’t collide with WBBL (in Australia)”.
“But these are unusual circumstances, the window (tentatively November 1-10) was a short one and the BCCI did the best it could.”
Indian team likely to have bilateral series ahead of World Cup 2021:
Mithali Raj also said that Team India is hoping to play four bilateral series but the dates have not been cleared. She also added that the team might have a training camp in September and October ahead of the speculated series.
“We have four series scheduled before the World Cup but we are yet to get the dates. When the England tour got cancelled, players faced a lot of uncertainty and if there is nothing ahead you don’t what know you prepare for. So the news of staging the IPL games is much needed,” Mithali said.
“Well for starters, from what I heard we are going to have a camp sometime in September-October. That should help the team to re-group and assess themselves and accordingly plan for the coming series, ” 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.