"There were occasions where I thought I should call it quits": Mithali Raj 

Mithali opened up on her future plans, hopes of winning the ODI World Cup.

Mithali Raj | AFP Just like any of her innings, India's ODI captain Mithali Raj doesn't believe in pre-planning things regarding her career. 

The first women cricketer to spend two decades in international cricket is taking it day by day at the age of 37. 

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However, she did admit there have been times when she has felt like "giving up" and move on, but has always found a reason to continue. 

"Honestly, I never planned my career just like I don’t plan my innings. Of course, I play according to the situation and so I kind of know something but my career was different. There were times that I was almost on the verge of giving up and taking a retirement. There were a few occasions where I thought that I should call it quits but always there was something that stopped me from doing that," Mithali told the Times of India

"I just went with the flow as and when things happened and played series after series. If I actually had to plan my career, 21 years is a long time to do it. To follow a habit for 21 years is a big thing. I just felt that if I have to play international cricket then I have to be at my optimum best and that is something that I have always believed in and also in consistency. No matter which phase of my career, every game has mattered to me. When walking into bat, I have always looked to perform well."

One of the greats of the women's game, with nearly 10,000 international runs from her 10 Tests, 209 ODIs and 89 T20Is, Mithali said it is the hope of winning a World Cup for her country that has also kept her going. 

Mithali, having retired from T20Is, wants to have another chance to claim the prestigious trophy in ODIs next year at the World Cup in New Zealand, which, however, has its fate hanging in the balance. 

"That’s one thing that has been eluding me thus far and so this time I want to give it a really good shot," she said. "The team is shaping really well as it has done well in the One-day format and the T20s too. The overall shape of the team is very good and, considering that, I definitely think we do have a chance in the coming World Cup."

"Yet everything will depend on a lot of other factors – build-up, the kind of preparation and the series we get to play before the World Cup. Whether the World Cup will happen or not (given the COVID-19 pandemic) is also such a big question now. No one knows and things are quite uncertain."

"The World Cup has been one big motivating factor for me apart from playing for India and winning every match. But a World Cup triumph is something big for me," Mithali concluded. 


By Kashish Chadha - 27 Jul, 2020

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