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World Cup memories: 2005

Almost famous

Cricinfo asked former and current women players for their lasting memories from each of the eight World Cups so far. Mithali Raj, the former India captain, revisits the last tournament

Nishi Narayanan

March 14, 2009

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Mithali bats in the final, where she finished on 91 off 104 balls © Touchline

2005, South Africa
Mithali Raj

Before we left I read a newspaper article about the World Cup that said that India could be the best and the worst. And, you know, that was what happened - we played brilliantly through the tournament only to lose the final miserably.

As a batsman my toughest, and most memorable, match was the semi-final against New Zealand, a team we had lost to earlier. We were under pressure at 38 for 2 when I came to bat. Anjum [Chopra] and I had to build the innings and our stand was crucial.

We didn't talk too much during the partnership. We had batted together over the years and knew each other's style and temperament. All we said was, "We can do this."

The best part of the game was that several decisions were referred to the third umpire and it was really our day because every decision - marginal mostly - went in our favour.

The 2005 India team was also one of the best I have played with - there was a great mix of youth and experience. Anjum, Neetu [David] and Anju Jain were the seniors with a lot of experience, while Nooshin [Al Khadeer] and Amita [Sharma] were playing their first World Cup. We gelled together on and off the field, went sightseeing and shopping together and enjoyed each other's successes.

As told to Nishi Narayanan

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Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.
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