Indian women cricket is rising at an incredible level lately. With India women's team reaching the finals of ICC Women's World Cup 2017, there are many women cricketers who earned name and fame for themselves. Few of them are Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and of course not to forget veterans like Jhulan Goswami and skipper Mithali Raj.
Mithali Raj's success till date for the Indian team has given a new dimension to the Indian Women cricket as a whole. Though India lost the final to hosts England by nine runs; Raj and her ladies came back home with lots of support and respect for women cricket.
Post World Cup 2017, the Indian women cricketers are being felicitated and rewarded for their remarkable performances throughout the tournament. On Friday, the Telangana government presented INR 1 crore and 600 square feet of residential land to the Indian Women cricket team’s skipper Mithali Raj.
The skipper wants girls in schools to take up cricket as a profession in India and feels that BCCI should have a T20 league like Indian Premier League for the upcoming and present women cricketers in India.
In her recent interview to India Today, Mithali expresses her wish to have a T20 league just like we have IPL. She said that a league like IPL will help build a pool of talented players in India, just the way IPL has done for the men’s team in past few years.
She said, “Maybe we can come up with an IPL kind of tournament for women. Once these things fall into place then you can have a lot more players who can come in and have a league like that. Things are very bright for women's cricket and the expectations are so high that the coming matches that we play against South Africa or Australia, people are going to scrutinize our performance and see how the team is doing but that is again a part of being a successful team.”
Recalling their wonderful reception at the Airport after being the World Cup finalists, she said, “Honestly, I did not expect this kind of a reception. We travelled in batches and the first batch did not give us any kind of heads up. When we reached the airport there was this huge crowd waiting for us and I had all these flashes on me and I just backed off thinking they have the wrong people. Half of the girls were traveling with me and were asking 'Didi what will happen and how will we reach the bus?' I said that we will manage somehow, it was a shock for us.”
In the 44-year-old history of the Women’s Cricket World Cup, it only happened twice that India reached the finals and both the times India was captained by Mithali Raj. India women's team made it into the finals of the Women's World Cup first in 2005 in New Zealand and the second time in recent 2017 edition in England.
The 35 year old Indian skipper talked about her team’s journey in the 2017 World Cup.
She said, “As a captain I was more experienced than I was in 2005 and I had a very young side. Getting into the World Cup, not many gave us a chance that we would even qualify for the semis considering the last edition of the World Cup was very disappointing for the Indian women's team. But the run up to the World Cup had been great and we got a lot of confidence from the first game when we beat England the hosts. It gave immense confidence to the team that when we can beat the hosts in their own backyard then we have the ability to do well in the world cup.”