Mithali Raj: Indian women’s cricket team need more enhanced support staff

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj: Indian women’s cricket team need more enhanced support staff

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Arun S Kaimal

06/05/2016

Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has expressed the need for a more specialized coaching staff for the team in future tournaments. The 33-year-old also welcomed the BCCI’s decision to allow India’s women cricketers to play in foreign leagues like the Women’s Big Bash League.

"I personally think we need to have a more enhanced support staff. That's the first thing I will look into. For the World Cup [World T20], we just had a coach, manager, physio, and trainer. Probably if we have a fielding coach or an assistant coach it will enhance the team as there won't be too much pressure on the coach to look after everything.

"The coach can't deal with everything. [For instance] when some of us are batting in the nets, there is nobody to give fielding practice to the other girls as the coach would be at the nets," Raj told ESPNcricinfo.

The Indian skipper’s observations comes on the wake of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) women's cricket committee meeting earlier this week, which discussed about the creation of a vision document to deal with the appointment of support staff among other things.

The Indian skipper also welcomed the board’s decision to allow women cricketer’s play in foreign leagues, and said that it will help the players get experience.

"It's a very positive decision. Since we don't have one [a league] of our own this crossover will give youngsters like Smriti Mandhana and other young spinners a chance to play in leagues abroad where there will be exchange of cultures," she said.

"It's a great opportunity for them to start observing other players and their rituals, their tactics and how they prepare. It's a different feeling to be playing with a player who you have never played in the same team with. That's how we felt when we played in the Rest of the World [versus MCC] match," the 33-year-old added.

However, the BCCI’s decision has come a bit too late for the Indian women cricketers to participate in the inaugural Women's Super League in England. The tournament is scheduled to be held from July 30 to August 14, this year. The Indian players had also missed the inaugural Women's Big Bash League in December-January last year.

"If we had played in the inaugural Women's Big Bash it would have given us a platform for WSL. Nevertheless, it's just one season and I am sure many Indian players will be a part of such leagues in the future," Raj said.

When asked about the creation of a women’s IPL, Raj seemed hopeful and said that it would happen eventually.

"It should be, maybe in a year or two. It should happen when people in India actually start following women's cricket more keenly, and not just the World T20 and big events," the 33-year-old said.  

(Also read - The 10 Greatest Quotes by Muhammad Ali)

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