‘It should be the end of the road for Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami’


Despite the girls failing to make the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup, I’m happy with the way we played. In hindsight, it was our game if it wasn’t for the no-ball in the last over. We had managed to get the batter who was playing on 50. I would have loved to see more replays of that no-ball. It was not clear and I didn’t see the foot touching the ground. It could have been shown from more angles, I wasn’t convinced with the decision.

A few overs here and there were expensive and while batting too, I felt we were 25 runs short. At the 40th over, we were well placed to cross 300. We managed to get only one run in the 41st over. Finishing should have been much better.

Missing Jhulan (Goswami) did make a difference as it was a big game. But I think it’s definitely time to look to the future. There are juniors waiting in the wings and it’s time we play them. At the same time, it’s important who captains the Indian team now. It’s Harry (Harmanpreet Kaur) or Smriti (Mandhana).

I think it should be the end of the glorious careers of two Indian cricketers – Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. Jhulan had already expressed that this will be her last World Cup. You can’t block two places in the XI, but you also can’t put two inexperienced players in a crucial game.

It’s high time we groom younger players. I feel it should be the end of the road (for Mithali and Jhulan). We say ‘thank you’ to them for the glorious efforts they gave for Indian women’s cricket. Every journey has to end somewhere and their destination has arrived. It’s time Shafali (Verma) and others are groomed.

Give the juniors a long run and have more India A and India under-19 women’s tours and series. It will build your bench strength. For that, NCA (National Cricket Academy) has to play a bigger role. Like they did for men’s cricket, providing new players whenever the team needed.

I also think we need good coaching staff. I’m not sure who is our bowling coach or fielding coach. I feel we need more experience in that line-up. Ramesh (Powar) is there as head coach but we need a good permanent hard trainer under them. Someone who can push the players and take them out of their comfort zone. Especially with regards to fitness and during fielding. Every time, we cannot fumble the ball. Yes, dew is there and dew will be there going ahead too. It affected this game too but we need practice with a wet ball. We can’t complain about dew. There should be a little more seriousness in the women’s game. The BCCI has a lot of money and they want to spend more on the women’s game too. We heard that a women’s IPL is going to come up next year and my suggestion is to take the tournament to Tier-II cities.

Bring more foreign players so that we have more competition. The BCCI will have to play a big marketing role in lifting the women’s game.

(Diana Edulji is a former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. She spoke to Devendra Pandey)