Only four-match tournaments not helping domestic players get international exposure, which is the main motive of WIPL | ICF – 135
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us a bit about yourself first, as a cricket fan.
First of all, thanks for giving me this opportunity to express my cricket view. Hope I will be able to drag your mind toward women’s cricket. Let’s start with when I first watched a Women’s cricket’s match on DD National, it was not live but highlights of the match, Mithali Raj won the game for India. I am watching cricket since when I was just 7-8 years old, but after this incident, my eyes was on Women’s Cricket. Before this, I used to watch Men’s cricket. Now I am a big fan of Mithali Raj.
J – What is your earliest memory of this game?
If you will ask me about my earliest memory, then I will say the 2007 T20 World Cup was the first tournament which I remember and I will never forget. That six sixes by Yuvraj Singh to last ball catch by Sreesanth and that celebration of lifting the world cup, as a child I was not aware of all rules of cricket at that time but just wanted India to win (haha).
J – Who is your favourite Women’s Cricketer currently?
Jemimah Rodrigues is my current favourite women cricketer. She is a classy player and also an entertainer on & off the field.
J – Women’s Cricket desperately needs IPL for the growth of cricket, however, BCCI seems to put less emphasis on this, share your thoughts on this and the current scenario related to Women’s Cricket.
I think one of the main objectives of WIPL is to improve the quality of the game and improve bench strength. India doesn’t have lack of skills, it lacks nerves. Which will improve immensely by exposing the young brigade to pressure situations. Being in the competitive set up with foreign players will immensely help their game and bring them to the current level of world cricket. Brushing shoulders with modern-day greats in the dressing room will help them hugely.
WBBL is going on for the last six years and we can see the effect of it in the Aussie team, their bench strength and how they are dominating world cricket. England also has KSL and “The Hundred”. NZ has SuperSmash. Only India among the giant cricketing nations is not having a popular league that can give domestic players international exposure. We need to catch up.
And when BCCI started the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2018, they said we will see full-fledge WIPL in the coming two years. But it’s 2021 and still, they are not interested in making the league big. Only a four-match tournament is not helping us in any way to give international exposure to our domestic players and consequently strengthen our bench strength which is the main motive of WIPL.
J – Thoughts on Indian Women’s Cricket in the present scenario?
Indian women cricketers are hard working. In fewer opportunities, they are proving themself again and again. BCCI is not giving them the proper environment to sharpen their skills otherwise our team could be the world no 1.
J – Do you feel they have been ignorant towards Women’s Cricket in India especially after the unlock?
Definitely yes! Every other country like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, England got some series and domestic to play but our players had to wait a complete year. After six months of the pandemic, the men’s team were touring but the women’s team was not. BCCI need to improve the domestic structure for girls and also start full-fledge WIPL as soon as possible.
J – Which is your favourite format of the game, and why?
ODI is my favourite format. Because in this format players get the chance to settle down and score a lot unlike T20s and yes, I also like Test cricket but it’s a long format which is difficult to watch because I am a student (haha).
J – Which cricketer did you idolize growing up?
I am a big fan of MS Dhoni as well. Dhoni’s long hair and those long sixes are eye-soothing. Can’t select more than one so in Men’s cricket it’s MS Dhoni and in Women’s cricket, it’s Mithali Raj. MS has lifted the cup, waiting for Mithali to lift in 2022.
J – Few words on the stalwarts of Indian Cricket – Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Anjum Chopra?
Well, I haven’t seen Anjum playing cricket, first I saw her in the commentary panel in a men’s game, I asked my father who is she then he told me that she is a women’s cricketer. Now I am loving her commentary more than any other.
Jhulan is a legend, she is the best. She performs whenever the team needs her. The way she bowled Meg Lanning in World Cup 2017, that was the best moment I will never forget her name.
Now coming to Mithali Raj, she is my all-time favourite, my love for her is endless. I grew up reading in newspapers that Mithali’s knock lead to victory. She is class. Whenever the team falls, she is there to hold the ground and India’s hope. Irrespective of the format, she always performs and leads us to wins. Not only as a player, but she is also a mind-blowing captain as well. 100 on debut, 214 in test cricket, 91* against New Zealand in World Cup 2005 which lead to us in the final of that World Cup and a 100+ against New Zealand in the do and die match which lead us to the semi-final of 2017 World Cup. She is a synonym of the Indian women’s cricket team.
J – What is your all-time XI?
Women’s ODI XI:
Sarah Taylor (wk)
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