Delhi: Indian women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana made a big statement on Saturday, when she said that aspiring female cricketers, will now look up to Mithali Raj for inspiration and not Sachin Tendulkar, clearly indicating the huge popularity the women’s cricket is gaining after their recent World Cup heroics in England.
Talking to India Today TV channel at the Mind Rocks event, Smriti said, “I believe girls will start playing cricket and I think they will be compared to Mithali Raj and not Sachin Tendulkar.”
The 21-one-year old also raised a question, “I don’t think anybody will ask us who is our favourite male cricketer,” she said referring to an incident when Indian captain Mithali Raj was asked such a question, to name her favourite male cricketer.
She (Mithali) had then given a fitting reply to the journalist saying, “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?”
Mandhana too thinks the same and hopes that people will now start respecting women’s cricket and also consider them to be on par with the men cricketers.
The Indian women’s team led by Mithali Raj had reached the World Cup final recently, but feel short by just 9 runs against hosts England.
However, their amazing fighting spirit and equally brilliant cricket won the hearts of many fans over the world. Even cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli praised the efforts of the blue tigresses.
Mithali even was named the captain of the World Cup team. One of the greatest player to ever play the game, Mithali is the only batswoman to score seven consecutive half-centuries in international cricket. She is also the highest run-getter in women’s ODI cricket and has led India with immense pride and with the true essence of a leader.
Mandhana also had her say about the women’s Indian Premier League. She said, “Women’s IPL will be a great thing. The domestic players will get to play with the international stars. I’m sure BCCI will think about it.”