Hyderabad: The other day when the ICC announced that women’s one-day World Cup has been pushed back by a year – that is from 2021 to 2022 – Indian captain Mithali Raj took to twitter saying that her eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy: “Oh absolutely , my eyes are fixed firmly on the trophy . With all niggles recovered, mind and body fresh and stronger than before I am definitely looking at World Cup 2022.”
The Hyderabad-based star said it basically gives her more time for the preparation for the World Cup. “I was thinking of playing even after the World Cup and that plan falls in place as for the preparation for the World Cup,” the 37-year-old cricketer said, adding: “Performance is important and not age. When it is comes to performance, one has to perform. I’m still motivated and I’m still hungry for runs.”
A veteran of 209 one-day internationals, Mithali pointed out that she gets inspiration from some legends like Roger Federer. “Look at Roger Federer. At that age, he is No.1 in tennis. People who are playing for a long time always find motivation and these players like Federer are the driving force to perform at our best at that level.”
She welcomed the BCCI decision to hold the women’s challenger in UAE. “Last year we had four teams and the response was very good and this time we will play for the first time in UAE. The viewership was good and this time the window is different. It is good as there is continuity in the Women’s Challengers.”
The world’s top run-getter did agree the lockdown has been a big challenge to all sports persons. “It is difficult and obviously the lockdown has been a challenging one. We are confined to houses. The recent Government’s approval to practice gives us lots of hope. It will take some time to get back to normalcy. We are all eagerly waiting for an early return of sport. It will take some time before getting back to our normal routine.”
The players, according to Mithali, are looking forward to the domestic season. “We could probably have T20 in November and one-dayers in January. Some domestic cricket and the players will eagerly look to play in the two tournaments.”
She also said it was one of the toughest phases of her career. “No one expected this long break from any sporting activities. I took this relaxation period by reading a lot of books and watching movies on Netflix and the 2021 World Cup was my motivation. But that is postponed. I probably have to change my plan and chart my own course of action for the 2022 World Cup.”
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