It is important that we market women”s Cricket, Says Mithali Raj:- While Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the country, it is only Men”s game that gets the centre stage. There are many both people who call themselves “Cricket Statisticians” who can answer all the questions of men”s cricket and are dumbstruck when someone asks them Who is leading run scorer in women”s cricket? Which team has won most women world cups?
While Indians exalt MS Dhoni as the greatest leader, quite a few of them are unaware who is India”s best captain in women”s cricket. The answer is Mithali Raj! While everyone was busy asking who are favorites to win the IPL, Pune or Mumbai very few knew she was leading her country for 100th time in ODIS thus becoming the first ever Indian to do so!
Mithali Raj made her debut in 1999 as a 17 year old against Ireland and straightaway showed her prowess with the bat scoring a ton on ODI debut. In August 2002 as a 19 year old she brought up her first double ton in test cricket scoring 214 vs England at Taunton. That was the highest score in Women”s Test Cricket at that moment, a record which was later broken by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who made 242 vs West Indies.
She led India to World Cup final in 2005. India ended as Runners up in the tournament held in South Africa.She has received Arjuna Award in 2003 and Padma Shri award in 2015.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) May 21, 2017
Mithali Raj has been India”s female Tendulkar as well female Dhoni. An inspirational leader who leads from the front with the bat, she is the befitting reply to those who say this is only men”s sport and girls don”t belong here!
The Indian skipper Mithali Raj said, “Back in India, we do have a lot of people coming and watching the matches. It is important that we market the sport. If we are playing a series, or a bilateral series, it is important that it is broadcaster because a lot of people back home are so inquisitive to know the result of the game. They do follow it over the net, but if it is broadcasted, it can make a huge difference for the profile of the game as well as for the players.”
Her figures as a woman cricketer are astonishing. A veteran of 177 ODIS, she has surpassed 5781 runs with the bat at a staggering average of 52. Also this is her 58th consecutive match as a CAPTAIN equalling Australian Belinda Clark”s highest consecutive matches record. Mithali Raj is now the 3rd player to captain in 100 ODIs in Women”s Cricket after Belinda Clark (101) and Charlotte Edwards (117).
“Unfortunately, that (the issue of broadcasting) depends on the home board,” Mithali Raj said.
The ICC Women’s World Cup is not far away and Mithali Raj is expected to play a key role both as a leader and as a batsman.
– by Atharva Apte