Mithali Raj, the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, who has been conferred the Padma Shri recently, reveals that she initially did not believe that she had been chosen for the award. “When I got a call from the Home Ministry informing that I have been selected for the Padma Shri, I thought someone was playing a prank on me. The feeling only sank in when I saw my name in the media. I am very happy that the government has appreciated my efforts,” says the 32-year-old.
However, she feels that women’s cricket in our country hasn’t got the attention that it deserves. “The women’s cricket team hasn’t got the due attention that it deserves as compared to other sportspersons or our male counterparts in the same game,” she adds.
While the women’s World Cup will be played in 2017, the men’s team kick-start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 15. Ask if they are under pressure when they face Pakistan and the skipper says, “No, we don’t feel the same kind of pressure because our matches are not telecast and people hardly come to the stadium to see them. It is like facing any other team.”
Ask Mithali what keeps her busy off the field, and she says, “When I’m not playing, I prefer staying home. I don’t watch too many films, but I’ve seen Aamir Khan’s latest film.”