India Women news June 5, 2014

Mithali Raj wants more Tests, central contracts


India Women captain Mithali Raj has urged the BCCI to organise more Test matches for the national women's team, which is set to play its first five-day match in eight years when it tours England in August.

The Test match in England will be India's first since August 2006, when they had also played England on tour. From 1976 to date, the team has played 35 Tests. Raj, 31, has played 148 ODIs since making her debut in 1999 but has featured in only eight Tests.

"We are touring England in August and we are playing one Test," Raj said in Hyderabad. "Though I have scored 214 in a Test match, I am playing a Test after eight long years. It is sad that there are so few Test matches in women's cricket and I hope the boards come together and organise more Test matches for women."

She said that the takeover of Indian women's cricket by the BCCI had proven to be beneficial, but there were things that could still be improved. "I would say it's good but there is a flip side to it also. Domestic cricket is organised well and we get access to facilities like the National Cricket Academy. There are also monetary benefits like you get paid, but the flip side is that the domestic cricket [season] is very short. I believe that you need to play more domestic matches to produce more players."

She also asked BCCI to follow the example of the other boards and offer centralised contracts to the India Women players. "As far as I know, we are the only team which does not have a central contract with the national board. I don't know what is holding it up, but it would be good if it happens because it would give security to players who do not have a secure job."