Indian women cricketers could not win the ICC Women’s World Cup against the hosts England but definitely won hearts by reaching the final match of the 2017 edition of the tournament.
The team tried their best and fought hard in England and make proud. It will take some time to recover the loss but skipper Mithali Raj feels that her side has set a precedent for the next generation and will certainly do better for them.
Mithali said to NDTV that “It was a different feeling when so many people turned up for the finals. I have been playing cricket for 18 years and it was my first experience to see so many people turning up for the match of women’s cricket and we didn’t disappoint any of them. We gave them (England) a tough fight and it wasn’t a one-sided game.”
Mithali said that many people have been comparing women’s cricket with the men’s game, but she said “I appeal to public not to compare women’s cricket with men’s cricket. I request them to see women’s cricket in a different light. It’s a sport in its own way.”
Talking about the final match that she found bright spots in the Indian campaign in the ICC Women’s World Cup, she said “In a bigger picture I see that it has done a lot of good for women’s cricket. Now people are watching and following women’s cricket. Every member of the women’s cricket team is a celebrity now and everyone knows who’s what and what kind of a role they play in the team.”
She added, “Earlier, it was just couple of us that people would know and the rest of them were not known much. The girls have done very well, the credit goes to them and also very thankful to ICC (International Cricket Council) for broadcasting and live streaming the matches because that has made a lot of difference.”
Mithali also thanked the Indian cricket board for its contribution and requested for Government help. “BCCI also has done a great job by helping us after we became part of them in 2007. They have been giving us best of facilities which have helped the girls to raise the standard.”
“That is why they could compete with the best sides and I’m sure in future the players will do much better than what we have done. But I would want Government to support the women cricketers too. I’m sure they would support any other women’s sport and I think the same support should be given to the women cricketers too.”