Despite representing a country where the sport reigns supreme, Indian women’s cricket team skipper Mithali Raj feels they should not be compared to their male counterparts and mourns the lack of recognition.
34-year-old burst out when asked about her favourite male cricketer between India and Pakistan.
“Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?” the veteran player said to scribe in question.
She questioned, “I have always been asked who’s your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is.”
During the opening dinner and media roundtable event on the eve of the Women’s World Cup, the second highest run scorer in women’s international cricket pointed out that the Indian women do not receive the same amount of publicity as the men.
“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.
She further said, “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.”
“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.
“I believe that if you are representing your country, your country should get the best of the best. It’s nothing to do with women coaches (who) don’t have the ability.”
Raj appreciated the coach Tushar Arothe and said the team has benefitted under his guidance.