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Mithali Raj says people’s perception about women’s cricket will now change

India captain Mithali Raj said her team’s performance at the 2017 Women’s World Cup will come as a major boost for women’s cricket in the country

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2017 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
Mithali Raj said India’s performance at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup will come as a major boost to women’s cricket in India.
Mithali Raj said India’s performance at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup will come as a major boost to women’s cricket in India.(Reuters)

Mithali Raj has said that despite India’s heart-breaking loss to England in the ICC Women’s World Cup final, people’s opinion of women’s cricket will change and they’ll consider India a force to reckon with in the cricketing world. (IND v ENG, WWC final highlights)

“It wasn’t easy for England but credit to them for keeping their nerve,” said Mithali.

“There was a time where the match was in the balance, but we panicked. I’m very proud of the girls. They didn’t make any match look easy for the other team. Thank you to the crowd for turning up for a women’s cricket final. This is a huge boost for all the women cricketers. Now, people back home will have a different perspective about women’s cricket.”

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Mithali, who ended the tournament as India’s leading run-getter and second highest overall (409 runs in nine games), said she’ll continue to play for another two years or so but her participation in the next World Cup seems highly unlikely.

“I will definitely play for a couple of years more, but I don’t see myself playing the next World Cup,” Mithali added.

England captain Heather Knight was delighted with her team’s performance and said in the past one and a half years, their primary focus was on dealing with high-pressure situations which helped them immensely to win their third title at home.

“I can’t stop smiling. The girls have been outstanding,” Heather said.

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“We’ve made it hard for ourselves, but we’ve won some tight games. All that we’ve done in the last 18 months was to deal with situations where the heat was on. The girls really held their nerve, apart from the drop of Jenny Gunn which was stressful. Thanks to everyone for their support.”

Anya Shrubsole, who won the Player-of-the-Match award for her six-wicket haul, said Harmanpreet’s wicket was the biggest turning point of the game.

“It was an unbelievable game, it looked for a minute like we were out of it but one of the great things about this team is we never give up, Alex Hartley got that vital wicket of Harmanpreet and we never looked back from there. It’s more that you don’t want the game to be ruined by rain, it was just an amazing game from start to finish and I think it’s a very fitting final for what’s been a brilliant World Cup,” Shrubsole said.