India ODI captain Mithali Raj has recently said that women’s cricket in the country should have come under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) earlier. She thinks that this would have given more security to the players financially.
Her comments came because earlier there was hardly any money in women’s cricket. And many talented players couldn’t continue the sport after a certain age of 23 or 24. Women’s cricket was under the Women’s Cricket Association of India until 2006 and later it was merged with the BCCI.
“I feel if it had happened 5 years before, it would have been better,” Mithali Raj said while speaking on Star Sports 1 Telugu show Girl Power-Sarileru Manakevvaru.
She again added, “Many talented players at that time, because of lack of money, lack of financial stability through this game, they had to shift to different fields. After turning 23-24, parents will ask what is next? So, being a women cricketer what can you tell parents? I don’t earn money, I am playing for passion? Nobody will buy it.”
“Because of that reason, a lot of talented people, they had to let go of their profession (cricket). So, at that time if BCCI was there, they would have added an extended career and we would have more pool of players in women’s cricket,” Mithali Raj shared.
The stalwart of Indian Women’s Cricket has said that as a child she wanted to become an IAS officer. While she used to learn dance, cricket was nowhere in her life. It was her dad who introduced her to the game.
“Honestly cricket happened to me. It didn’t come by choice. I didn’t choose to get into cricket,” she said.
“My dad took me to the academy there, whatever transpired, and I was straight away into a full-fledged academy for girls. I was too young to make a choice. If at that time somebody could ask a 10-year-old Mithali, what you want to become, I would have said that I wanted to become an IAS officer. Not a sportsperson, not a dancer. I always felt I had it in me to be an IAS officer,” Mithali Raj said.
For the highest run-getter in ODI, winning the World Cup next year is the main focus. Under Mithali’s leadership, India reached the final in the 50-over World Cup twice – 2005 and 2017 but they failed to lift the coveted trophy.
“In 2013, when India hosted the world cup, we didn’t even qualify for the super six stage. I was hurt and quite disappointed. I thought let me give a try in 2017 World Cup. Then I really worked hard for that World Cup. As a player, as a captain, I did a lot of homework. I thought when we were in the finals, if we win the finals, then I will retire,” Raj added.
“After playing for so many years, probably I had everything, except that one World Cup. In 2021 again I am going to give another try, hopefully with everybody’s wishes and God willing we should crack it,” Mithali concluded.
As far as the game is concerned, the BCCI has pulled out of the England series owing to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The tour would have helped them to prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup which is scheduled to take place in New Zealand earlier next year.