New Delhi: After putting on a fine performance in the recently concluded World Cup, skipper Mithali Raj feels that the team needs to play more Test cricket in order to produce better cricketers in the future.
Till date, India has played just 36 Test matches, where they have won on five occasions, lost six times and have drawn the rest.
As a matter of fact, Mithali has played just 10 Test matches in her 18-year career, the same number of Test matches India has played in the last ten years.
Mithali and her team was felicitated in New Delhi by Sports Minister Vijay Goel for their stellar performance in the World Cup in a function organised by the BCCI where she said, “Test matches are the ultimate test for cricketers, whether it is your temperament, skill or endurance.
However, women’s cricket needs promotion and so far it has been done mainly through T20s and ODIs by the respective cricket boards.” She further added, “Test matches are the ultimate test for cricketers, whether it is your temperament, skill or endurance. However, women’s cricket needs promotion and so far it has been done mainly through T20s and ODIs by the respective cricket boards.”
Every member of the Indian team was awarded a reward of ₹50 lakhs by the BCCI. The Indian team has indeed received a lot of appreciation for their performance in the World Cup but Mithali said that they didn’t get such a reception after the 2005 World Cup where they did well too.
She said, “I am one of those players who have seen days before the BCCI took over and after that as well. I am fortunate that I continued to play. Today I am seeing this phase in women’s cricket, the reception we have got has been overwhelming..I clearly remember, despite doing well in 2005 World Cup, we never had this kind of a reception. It is a nice feeling after what we have all gone through, we feel wanted, feel appreciated for the effort we have put in all these years.”
The 34-year old credited the Indian Railways for their continued support to the Indian women by giving them jobs. “A special mention to the Indian Railways for supporting us and extending jobs to the girls. If it was not for the Railways, many more talented cricketers would have quit the game to focus on getting jobs for financial security,” said Mithali.
India was in cruise control of the final against England before they were unable to cope up with the pressure of the big match but despite that, the skipper felt that it was a brilliant performance by her team. “Not many gave us a chance to reach the semis or final. This World Cup has been very tough,” she said.
She also added, “What the team has achieved in this World Cup, the seeds were sown in the ODI series against Australia, the West Indies tour, the Quadrangular Series in South Africa, the Qualifiers in Sri Lanka and into the World Cup. The preparation was very good.”
Mithali also said that she would play for another 2-3 years but had made it clear earlier that this was her last World Cup.