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Mithali Raj sets her sights and focus on the World T20 2018

She still wants to contribute a lot for the betterment of the Women's cricket in India.

Mithali Raj
Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj. (Photo by Ravi Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)

After a great outing and an incredible display in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, the Indian skipper Mithali Raj has shifted her focus towards the T20 World Cup in 2018 in West Indies. The women’s team made the whole nation proud, even as they lost the final match against champions England. They have surely won the hearts of millions of cricket fans and the people who were cheering for them.

Mithali feels that the team needs to switch sides to the shortest format at the earliest, ahead of the important event in 2018. The right-hand batter feels that the girls need to work on their performance in the T20 format, as they were not able to gain much success in the previous World T20. She also decided to miss the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, in order to build a stronger and complete team for the future before her retirement.

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“If India reach the top-two in rankings, then I’ll feel proud that I’ve got the team so far. I’m currently focusing on the World T20 next year, especially because we haven’t done well in that tournament before. The expectations will be high and I believe it is important for me to be there for the girls and guide them through it. From here on, whatever matches or tournaments we play internationally, it is important for the team to perform to the best of our ability,” said Mithali on the sidelines of a promotional event on Sunday.

The grand reception was not expected

The eves were a little surprised by the huge reception they received from the people in India and all over the world, as they never expected such a celebration after returning home from England. “In London, all of us planned our holidays and some of us were to go together. But now I don’t think we don’t have the time. We didn’t expect this kind of a reception and the acceptance of women’s cricket despite losing the final. People have been very positive. Wherever we go they have good things to say about women’s cricket. We’ve got such an amazing reception that I often wonder what it would have been like to come home as World champions. I’m sure it would have taken us to a different level,” she further added.

The skipper also talked about her hectic and busy schedules after the tournament in England. “In the last three weeks, every day I’m in a different city attending two or three events. I haven’t even got time to properly unpack after getting home from England. The girls are all are enjoying the attention they deserve. At some point of time, we will get back to training and competitive cricket,” added the skipper.

Want to groom youngsters before leaving

The 34-year-old top order batter still wants to contribute a lot for the betterment of the Women’s cricket in India. She revealed her ideas of grooming the youngsters before her retirement from the sport. “I’m glad I saw this phase of Indian women’s cricket while I’m still playing. I will continue to play as long as I’m in good form. Also, I want to groom youngsters. I’ve always told my dad, whenever I quit, I should leave a strong and formidable team and not when they are weak,” concluded Mithali.

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