Mithali Raj ‘mesmerized’ by support for women’s cricket in India

Mithali Raj, while talking at the Lucknow Literature Festival, said that it’s good to see that people of all ages are now recognizing women cricketers and respect them like men cricketers in India

cricket Updated: Nov 20, 2017 09:18 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Mithali Raj,Indian women's cricket team,women's cricket team
Mithali Raj said that she is happy with the rising popularity of women’s cricket in india.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The popularity of women’s cricket in India has grown a lot in the recent years. Fans lining up, seeking autographs and having selfies with women cricketers are now a reality.

Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj, who has been the torch bearer of this drastic change in terms of the popularity of women’s cricket and the cricketers in India, herself was mesmerized by the support and response.

“I could have imagined a few people on our arrival to India after finishing runners-up, but I was amazed to see thousands of people, flashing cameras and celebrating. It took 45 minutes to reach the team’s bus when we landed at the airport,” said Mitahli while addressing a session at the Lucknow Literature Festival on Sunday.

READ | BCCI changes start timings of first 2 India-Sri Lanka one-day internationals

“Certainly, it’s a great transformation. Life has changed drastically and it’s good to see that now people of all ages recognize women cricketers and respect them like men cricketers in India,” said Mithali.

“The change is good. Now women cricketers too travel in business class. There were days when even I after making my debut for India had to travel second class in a train from Hyderabad to Mumbai,” she added.

Advocating for proper support to women cricketers in India, Mithali emphasized that to keep this momentum going for the women cricket in India, schools and parents should also come forward. “Cricket for women at school level is a must as it’s the place where one learns the basics. Moreover, parents should support their girl child to play cricket. It will help us have future women cricketers for India.”

READ | Indian bowlers got carried away by Lankan wicket-taking spree: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Another star at the women’s cricket World Cup for India, Veda Krishnamurthy, whose aggression while batting has sparked comparisons with Virat Kohli, supported the move for a women Indian Premier League from next year. “This would help women cricketers in India grow. Not only the finances, but it will boost their confidence, ” she said.

Veda, who also happens to be the second Indian women cricketer alongside Harmanpreet Kaur to play in next month’s Women’s Big Bash League for Hobart Hurricanes in Australia, admitted the aggression in her batting was genuine and that she enjoyed it.

“I grew up admiring Mithali, and it was really a proud moment for me when I got to play alongside her. She (Mithali) is a perfect captain as well as a nice human being too. I always find her to be a great motivator to all the women cricketers in India,” she said.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 09:14 IST