LONDON: India women’s cricket team skipper Mithali Raj has asserted that female cricketers should not be compared to their male counterparts.
On the eve of the Women’s World Cup, Raj, who was attending the opening dinner and media roundtable event, was asked who her favourite men’s cricketer was between India and Pakistan to which she replied, “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?”
“I have always been asked who’s your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is,” ESPNcricinfo quoted her as saying.
The skipper also pointed out that the Indian women do not receive the same amount of publicity as compared to their male counterparts in a cricket-crazy nation like India.
“There’s a lot of difference because we are not a regular on television. Now the BCCI has made an effort that the last two home series have been televised and social media has improved a lot of it but there is a still a lot of catch-up to do in terms of recognition,” she said.
Earlier this year, Tushar Arothe replaced Purnima Rau as the Indian women’s coach and Raj admits the team has benefitted under his guidance.
“Men’s cricket sets the bar. We are always trying to reach where they set the standard. All of us follow men’s cricket because we want at some point that women’s cricket would be up there,” she said.
However, she is off the view that there is lot of need for the women cricket team to lean on the expertise of the men’s game, especially in the coaching department.
“All of us at some point have been coached by a male cricketer. I strongly believe that they get a lot of intensity into the training sessions. They are very hard taskmasters,” she added.
The Women’s World Cup will begin from June 24, with hosts England taking on India in Derbyshire.
India squad: Mithali Raj (C), Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parween, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma. Sushma Verma (WK)