Mithali Raj feels she is unfairly slammed for low strike-rate
Still coming to terms with the biggest controversy in women's cricket involving her, former coach Ramesh Powar and CoA member Diana Edulji, whom she accused of trying to finish her career
Mithali Raj's T20 strike-rate has always provided fodder for her critics but what India's ODI skipper can't fathom as to how some of the players with worse strike-rate never come under scanner like her. Still coming to terms with the biggest controversy in women's cricket involving her, former coach Ramesh Powar and CoA member Diana Edulji, whom she accused of trying to finish her career.
However Mithali feels that she has always been unfairly targeted despite some of the other players also coming cropper in shorter formats. "In the first game [of Women's T20 Challenge], there were a couple of players whose strike rate was below 100. Was it made an issue? No. Because it doesn't come in the radar because it is not Mithali Raj," Mithali told 'Cricbuzz' in an interview. However without naming young Jemimah Rodrigues, Mithali pointed out at a top-order player, who had a strike of 50 against England. While Mithali didn't name the young Mumbaikar, but she had scored 11 off 22 balls in the T20 game against England which India lost narrowly.
"The last England home series, a top-order [batter] had a strike rate of fifty. Did I make an issue? Was it made an issue? Still people are trolling me only! Because from the non-striker end I have to go and play. I played four dot balls and I was trolled. That's what I am saying - it's not fair. If today I am turning out to be a rebel then you should know which situation has made me like that," said Mithali, who had scored 30 off 32 balls in that match. "I'm not saying the fact that I am the best T20 player. No! I know where I stand. But to unfairly pinpoint at the only thing you can pinpoint in my whole batting analysis then I can pick out numerous players in this current Indian team and I can question you. But why is it that only I am being questioned?" She also lashed out at a former India player, who has used social media to criticise her.
"There are certain players who have played women's cricket are using the platform of social media to lash out. That is very sad. I cannot name because I don't want to," Mithali said. Many in Indian cricketing circles feel that Mithali is pointing fingers at a former skipper, who is now a broadcaster also. "But as a player you feel sad that at this level you are being singled out for the fact that I stood up for myself. I have not done anything wrong standing up for myself. And I have not done anything wrong in reaching out to the board because I am under the board. I have not gone to the media. I reached out to them [board]," Mithali spoke about her letter where she had alleged that former coach Powar had ill-treated her in the West Indies. "Honestly, it will take time for me (to get over the controversy). It will because when things happen all of a sudden and you did not expect it to happen the way it has happened, it will take time for me to get over it. Yes, sometimes it still flashes. Eventually, I will get over it at some point."
Earlier last year, the biggest controversy in women's cricket had erupted involving Mithali Raj. She was unceremoniously dropped from the Indian women's cricket team during an ICC tournament. She then opened up about the problems she faced in the team and with the then coach Ramesh Powar. She had revealed how Ramesh Powar had isolated her in the team and was torturing her mentally.
CoA member Diana Edulji had come out in the defence of the team and had criticised Mithali Raj for her comments.
The controversy later subsided and Mithali Raj continued to captain the Indian women's ODI team.
The most successful Indian batswoman has never shied away from speaking her mind when it comes to issues she is facing in Indian cricket.
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