ICC Women's World Cup 2013 January 30, 2013

Women need more Tests - Mithali

Mithali Raj, the India Women captain, wants more Test cricket in the women's game as it is the "ultimate challenge". Raj was responding to a question on the comments made by former captain Diana Edulji to ESPNcricinfo about the BCCI's approach to women's cricket. When asked later what difference the board's takeover of the women's game had made, Raj listed better facilities and access to support staff as major gains.

"I definitely haven't read the article but yes, people spoke to me about it," Raj said. "I think once we are into the World Cup, I don't want to think about what has happened because this is a very significant event. As a player and as a captain, I definitely want to have all positive vibes around me."

Edulji had pointed to the lack of Test cricket in the women's game as a hindrance to player development. Raj said playing Test matches was "very important". "As a youngster, I played a lot of days games which helped me build my temperament," Raj said. "I definitely feel that Tests are very important. Once you are a good Test player, you can adapt to Twenty20 and one-day games. Ultimate challenge is definitely the Test game."

With the BCCI taking over women's cricket in India, the domestic season was now "well-organised", Raj said. "We get to play some domestic tournaments in international venues. That itself is a big motivating factor for youngsters and for state players. And our access to the NCA. Being in a sport, there are bound to be injuries. If you are taken care of by professional physios and trainers, you get a lot of knowledge being under them. That has helped these youngsters to get awareness about their own bodies and how to cope with international cricket.

"When we started, we did not have a video analyst. Now we have one for every tour, we get our feedbacks, we study our own game and that itself is a big thing for these players. I don't even have a recording of my own world record. But now I have some of my one-day innings which are good enough and I can repeatedly see them on television. We have a physio and a trainer along with us who help in keeping the girls fit."

Despite being one of the top women players in the world for many years now, Raj said people still didn't know her by face. "I think more often people relate to me by my name. If I get introduced then they're like, 'yeah, you're a woman cricketer,' but because I'm not very often on television people don't recognise me by my face, but definitely by my name."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srikantesh on February 1, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Yes! Women't Cricket need more games to be organised especially Tests. See Mithali has just played 8 test in her career even after being around for so many years! Not only Tests, even ODIs & T20s. Telecasting the matches live is also important. i am also not impressed with entire world cup is being organised at one venue yeah now it is two by chance. if you (BCCI) can't allot different venues for a World Cup event, then when we can expect it. Hello BCCI, Please please please take the game to difference parts of the country and do a favour to us by televising matches live. Even Cricinfo often gives only match updates not live commentary. you guys too pay attention to women's game. - Srikantesh

  • vinod on January 31, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    mithal raj is nw famous all over de country, She did a commercial 4 Amirthanjan pain balm, being shown on TV often

  • Rakesh on January 31, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Start playing positively Mithali. Your team lacks intent. More and more people will follow womens cricket if it gets interesting. We are used to strike rates of over 90. You guys hardly touch 50.

  • yuvraj on January 30, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    It might be good idea to get some of those women cricketers to indias mens team. Atleast they will play better than their mens team. Atleast they will take some wickets.

  • Fraser on January 30, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    INDIA?! they might be going through a rough ptach but cannot be included in the same bracket as zimbabwe and bangladesh!!!!

  • yuvraj on January 30, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Teams like india, bangladesh, zimbabwe(mens team) should play more test matches with womens cricket teams. They seriously lack the ability to play competitive test cricket at international level.