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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Mithali Raj, women’s cricket captain, archer Deepika Kumari win Vogue awards

Mithali Raj has been enjoying her status as a celebrity ever since the women’s cricket team entered the final of the ICC World Cup in UK in June-July, 2017

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2017 12:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mithali Raj, Indian women’s cricket team captain, at the first Women of the Year awards of fashion magazine, Vogue.
Mithali Raj, Indian women’s cricket team captain, at the first Women of the Year awards of fashion magazine, Vogue.(Twitter)

Mithali Raj has been kept busy ever since she returned from the UK in July. The Indian women’s cricket team captain has been the cynosure of all eyes and has been under the spotlight ever since the national team upset Australia en route to the final of the World Cup. India lost to England in the final.

Mithali Raj has been the face of women’s cricket ever since the Indian team returned. Mithali was at the Women of the Year awards ceremony of fashion magazine, Vogue. Archer Deepika Kumari too won an award.

She has also shared space with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Mumbai Indians owner and International Olympic Committee member Nita Ambani on one of Vogue’s glamorous covers.

Mithali Raj’s exploits has caught the attention of international writers. In an opinion piece in the British Vogue in June this year, writer Caroline O’Donoghue has glorified the 34-year-old Mithali Raj, who is the first women batsman to have scored over 6,000 ODI runs.

“The fact is, I had no idea the Women’s Cricket World Cup was even on until today, or that Indian women were absolutely dominating it. None of my friends watched it, no one on my Twitter feed uttered a word, and no papers mentioned Mithali Raj, the team captain who calmly reads Thirteenth Century poetry before every game and is one of cricket’s most prodigious talents - the youngest woman player ever to score 100 on her debut at a one-day international,” wrote Caroline.

“Which, to be honest, is coverage I would have enjoyed. I don’t watch tennis, but I enjoy reading about Serena Williams. Similarly, I don’t watch cricket, but I find myself excited and intrigued by the Indian women’s team. In a world where global headlines about Indian women are so commonly snatched by tales of despair - often of forced marriage, domestic violence, and sexual violence - we need triumphant sport stories about Indian women. To be perfectly frank, we need more stories about all women in sport. Stories of strength and prowess, of agility and teamwork, of good-humoured losses and triumphant, soaring wins. Because honestly, as strong as Serena’s shoulders are, I don’t think it should be up to her to be “the” voice in women’s sport,” said Caroline.

Mithali Raj has been a pillar of strength. Alongside the PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza, the only Indian cricketer to have captained in two World Cups, Mithali Raj deserves the accolades.

There have been the odd detractors too , shaming Mithali for her glamorous looks and dressing sense.

Mithali Raj was celebrated along with State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, the Vogue Business Leader of the Year.

Olympian and one of India’s top archers Deepika Kumari too was felicitated by Vogue. The Jharkhand girl won the Young Achievers Award.

But a glamorous Mithali Raj cornered the spotlight with her stunning presence on the Vogue cover.