‘Women's cricket needs media support right now’, says Mithali Raj while reacting to Naomi Osaka’s controversy

Mithali's comments came ahead of India’s much-awaited tour to England.

Mithali Raj | GettyAhead of India’s much-awaited tour to England, Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj has said that she never felt the need to forego a press conference.

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Her comments came after star tennis player Naomi Osaka decided to withdraw from the ongoing French Open to look after her mental health as her decision to skip press duties led to huge fallout.

According to Mithali, women's cricket right now needs media support.

"Well, I think it is tough to be in quarantine for any athlete. But, I think getting into a tournament, we do not feel that. Personally, I have not felt that I should forgo a press conference because women's cricket right now where it stands, it needs media support and it is important for players also to sort of try and help in the growth of the sport. So we need to try to promote the sport," Mithali said during a virtual press conference, as quoted by ANI.

On Tuesday (June 1), former India batsman Mohammad Kaif tweeted that players across different sports should be allowed to stay away from media if that ensures better mental health.

"It is high time we acknowledge the issue of mental health in sports. More so in individual sports. In cricket, a coach or a senior player can be a backup option for a captain but not in tennis. Let's be sensitive, players in their weak moments should be allowed to avoid the media," he wrote on Twitter.

Japanese tennis player Osaka on Monday (May 31) announced that she is pulling out of French Open.

"Hey everyone, this isn't a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris," Osaka said in a statement released on Twitter.

"I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly," she added.

The Indian women’s cricket team will depart for UK on Wednesday (June 2). During the tour, they will face the hosts in a four-day Test followed by three ODIs and three T20Is from June 16 to July 15.

(With ANI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 01 Jun, 2021

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