Mithali Raj has brushed aside the idea of hanging up her boots amidst the ongoing series against England which is being played on home soil. The ODI team skipper also added that the prospect of representing her country on the big stage is a big motivation for her to keep performing.
Mithali Raj was in the news for all the wrong reasons a couple of months ago after she was embroiled in a very public battle against the former coach - Ramesh Powar. However, Raj has managed to put all that behind her and return to the senior team under new leadership in the form of former India cricketer - WV Raman.
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Mithali was questioned if she had any intention of retiring from limited-overs cricket. Raj, aged 36, hit back by saying that now was not the right time to think about hanging up her boots and she still had the passion and desire to represent her country.
"I am here to play. It is not appropriate to talk about it in the middle of a very important series against a very formidable England side. I would not want to make a decision regarding it at this juncture. When I decide to take a call on it, it would be out officially and everybody will come to know about it.
"I have worked really hard to reach here. It is the pride to play for India that keeps me going. Not many get a chance to play for India and I feel very fortunate to be still playing. The will to do well for India is a big motivation," Raj told HT in the interview.
Raj is currently a part of the Indian side in the ongoing home series against England. India won the three-match ODI series which was also an ICC Championship series by 2-1 but currently trail England 2-0 in the ongoing T20I series with one match left to play.
The seasoned cricketer also spoke about the new influx of young talent that has been drafted into the team of late. Mithali singled out youngster Smriti Mandhana for special praise and added that the latter has a bright future ahead.
"All are very talented, having different attributes. They have done well in domestic cricket to reach here. At the same time, they need to spend time with the team and learn a lot. A bit of conditioning with the Indian team, coach and trainers will help them build confidence.
"Smriti has been scoring runs at a brisk pace in the last one year. She will have to keep doing that. Responsibility will come with time. Moreover, the international leagues she is playing
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