Indian women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj said that she wants to hold the World Cup trophy in her hands. She is also confident about India’s chances at the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup, which will be played in England from 24 June to 23 July 2017.
Speaking to Times of India, Mithali said that they have caught weaknesses of the South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by playing against them, which would help them in World Cup. When asked how you assess India’s performance in the World Cup qualifiers, the skipper replied, “We dominated most of the matches. The final was certainly a real test and the girls but we did well to snatch a one-wicket victory against South Africa. Playing against South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka gave us an idea about their strengths and weaknesses which should come in handy in the World Cup.”
Indian women team lost their six points due to the cancellation of the October series against Pakistan. But Mithali picked up some positive things from the tour cancellation; she said that she said that they would be prepared better and test their bench strength by playing the qualifiers.
She further stated, “It cost us six points, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Playing the qualifiers helped us to prepare better and test our bench strength. Now that we have qualified, we need to work harder as a team and look to improve.”
On being asked how difficult was it to cope with injuries to two of your top players, Mithali said, “It was a big blow to lose Jhulan Goswami and Smriti Mandhana just before the tournament. It was also a wake-up call for us to start grooming young pacers.”
The skipper said that her main target is to help his team to reach the last-four stages as this is her fifth World Cup and she would definitely want to hold the World Cup trophy in her hands. Mithali added, “This will be my fifth World Cup and I would definitely want to get my hands on the trophy. My first target is to help India reach the last-four stages. Our World T20 campaign at home last year was a big disappointment. But One-Day (50 overs) World Cup is different and we have done well in this format in the past. I hope we can carry the momentum we have gathered in the qualifiers into the World Cup.”
Mithali lauded Indian cricket board for their central contracts for current players and one-time benefit scheme for ex-players. She also urged BCCI to pay the domestic cricketers well. The skipper further said, “It’s a very nice gesture from the BCCI to acknowledge the contribution of the ex-players. But it should not stop there. The BCCI should also look to pay the domestic cricketers well. The players who play the three-day tournament, national championship and super league deserve better compensation.”