Mithali Raj: I would have retired if India had won the 2017 World Cup final

India would have had more women cricketers today if the BCCI had brought women’s cricket under its fold earlier than in 2006-07, says Mithali.

Mithali Raj...“Cricket happened to me, it was not by choice.”   -  Prashant Nakwe

Mithali Raj, the captain of the Indian women’s One-Day International team, has revealed that if her team had won the 2017 World Cup final, she would have retired.

In an interaction with anchor Rashmi Gautam on a Star Sports I Telugu TV series, Mithali felt that it would have been better for women’s cricket in India if it had come under the aegis of the BCCI much earlier than it actually did - in 2006-07. The programme, Girl Power - Sarileru Manakevaru (There is no match for us), deals with the subject of women in sports, and this episode will be telecast on Sunday at 10.00 am.

“Many talented players at that time, because of lack of money, had to shift to different fields. For, after 23-24 years, parents will ask what is next? So, being a woman cricketer what can you tell your parents?” she said.

“If they had said - ‘I don’t earn money, I am playing for passion’ - nobody would buy that line of thinking. So, at that time if BCCI were to be in control of the sport, we would have had more number of players in women’s cricket,” 37-year-old Mithali said.

‘Another try’

“After playing so many years, probably I had everything, except the World Cup. So, we were runners-up in the 2017 and 2020 editions. Again, I am going to give another try and hopefully with everybody’s wishes and God-willing we should crack it,” she said.

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“Honestly, cricket happened to me. It was not by choice. My dad took me to the Academy which was only for girls. If at that time someone could ask a 10-year-old Mithali what [she wanted] to become, I would have said I wanted to be an IAS officer. Not a sportsperson or a dancer. I had it in me to be an IAS officer,” Mithali said.

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