Mithali Raj has confessed her plans after retirement could include another stint playing cricket should the women’s IPL materialize in the near future. She then spoke about her activities since announcing her retirement before delivering high praise for her compatriot Shafali Verma.
Although she has spent most of her life playing professional cricket, the sport cannot be taken away from Mirhali Raj. The Indian legend announced his retirement from cricket last month after a stellar 23-year career, but has already hinted at a possible return next year.
The 39-year-old has admitted considering taking part in the first edition of the Women’s IPL. The tournament is set to take place next year and could feature up to six teams, although no official confirmation has been presented by the tournament’s governing authorities.
“I’m keeping that option open. I haven’t decided yet,” she said on the premiere episode of ICCThe 100% Cricket podcast.
“There are still a few months until the Women’s IPL takes place. It would be great to be part of the first edition of the Women’s IPL.”
Raj came into the limelight recently after Bollywood released an unprecedented career biopic titled “Shabaash Mithu” starring Taapsee Pannu. The film hit theaters on July 15 and saw the Indian talisman travel across the country to promote the production. The veteran of 333 international matches reflected on what life was like after retirement.
“I thought so [retirement] would slow down my pace of life, in the sense that I don’t have to plan my day, my week or my next series. After announcing my retirement, I had fallen with Covid, and when I got over it, I got involved in promotional events for the film. So far it’s as hectic as it’s been [as a player], there is no change in my lifestyle yet. Maybe when all those things die down, I’ll probably feel the difference of what it’s like after retirement,” the hitter revealed.
Having made his debut at 16, Raj rose to the top echelons of the sport at a very young age, much like what Shafali Verma has achieved recently. The 18-year-old has donned the Indian blue 52 times already and at this rate he is not only set to emulate but surpass Raj’s appearances with the national team. Verma has totaled over 1,500 runs on the international stage and is coming off an excellent WODI series against Sri Lanka, recording scores of 35, 71* and 49.
“I have been a huge fan of her game. I have seen that she is a player who has the ability to single-handedly win the game for India against any attack and any team. She’s one of those players you probably see once in a generation,” Raj said while praising the youngster.
“When I saw Shafali in a domestic game when she played against Indian Railways, she scored fifty but I could glimpse a player who could change the whole game just with her sleeves. And when she played for Velocity in the first edition of the Challenger Trophy, she played for my team and I saw that she had the ability and the raw power that you rarely see at this age to cross the line and hit a six at sera .”
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