Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has stressed on the gulf that lies in between women and male players in India in terms of getting recognition. Raj, who will be leading the country in the coveted Women’s World Cup, said that they should not be compared to their male counterparts as eves get lukewarm recognition despite hailing from a country where cricket is considered as religion, as per PTI report. Raj, when asked about who is her favourite cricketer, curtly replied whether such a question was ever put to a male player. She said that she has always been questioned about this and advised the reporter to also ask male cricketers about their favourite female cricketer. Raj said this while attending the opening dinner and media roundtable event on the eve of the Women’s World Cup. Raj, however, said that the BCCI has made an effort to televise the last two home series and coverage on the social media has improved but there was a still a lot of catching-up to do in terms of recognition.
A strong tune-up notwithstanding, India will have their task cut out when they lock horns with title contenders England in the tournament- opener of the ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday. India have had an impressive build-up to the 50-over showpiece, beating South Africa by eights wickets in the final of the Quadrangular series recently.
The 2005 runners-up might have directly qualified for the World Cup 2017 had they played their three games against Pakistan in the ICC Women’s Championship and not forfeited the six points. Having finished fifth on the table with 19 points, India had to go through the qualifiers in Sri Lanka where they went undefeated and won a thrilling final against South Africa by one wicket. India will be playing the tournament under the experienced Mithali Raj, who recently became the third player to lead her team in 100 ODIs.
Raj, whose first target is to make the semi-finals, is coming off a record-breaking six successive half centuries, and she would look to continue in the same vein. The Quadrangular tournament also saw a record opening stand of 320 by Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut against Ireland, the first partnership of more than 300 runs in women’s cricket. While the Indian batting revolves around Raj, Deepti has also provided some good starts lately.