India’s One-Day International captain Mithali Raj feels that the global pandemic novel coronavirus may have pushed back the growth of women’s cricket by two years. She even said that to start a full-fledged women’s Indian Premier League is nearly three years away. However, a fourth team was supposed to add this year in the Challenger series.

“Unfortunately, women’s cricket may have been set back by a couple of years by this pandemic as some of the momentum that had been built between India’s success in World Cup 2017 and World T20 2020 has been lost,” the 37-year-old Raj said during a webinar at the ‘Re-Setting the Sports Ecosystem: Opportunities in The New Normal World’ at FICCI FRAMES.

Mithali Raj, the highest run-getter in ODI, further said that she had spoken with the Board of Control for Cricket in India regarding a calendar for the national team.

“However, we have had discussions with BCCI to draw up a firm calendar for the Indian women’s team so that fans can regularly cheer for the team,” she added.

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“The plans have obviously been disrupted but we believe we can re-build quickly. I think a full-fledged Women’s IPL is still two-three years away but we would certainly look to have a fourth team in the Women’s Challenge that is played concurrently with the IPL,” she expressed.

With several accolades in her kitty, Mithai Rj has resumed her training after a three-month break owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is back in the nets at St. John’s Coaching Foundation in Hyderabad under the guidance of her coach R.S.R. Murthy, her best friend and former international cricketer Nooshin Al Khadeer and K. John Manoj, secretary of the Foundation.

COVID-19 has brought the world into a standstill. All the sporting events across the globe have either been cancelled or postponed. This pandemic outbreak, as well as lockdown due to this, have affected several people including players who need to practice outside to keep themselves ready for the games.

However, the situation is getting better slowly in some places and England have hosted their first international series against the West Indies men’s team. Hope India too return to action soon.

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