Mithali picks Harmanpreet, Deepti and Mandhana as successors

Mithali picks Harmanpreet, Deepti and Mandhana as successors
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a group photograph with the Indian women's cricket team, in New Delhi on Thursday.

New Delhi - India captain says she has two-three years of cricket left in her before she steps down


Published: Thu 27 Jul 2017, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 4:15 PM

Indian women's cricket team skipper Mithali Raj on Thursday picked her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur and youngsters Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma to succeed her when she decides to quit the game.

Mithali, who recently led the Indian eves to the final of the ICC World Cup - which they lost to hosts England in the summit clash at Lord's - admitted that she still has two-three years of cricket left in her and added that the next focus is on the ICC Women's World T20 in the West Indies next year.

"As a player grows and gains experience at the international level, each one of them becomes a leader in their own respect," Mithali said.

"Harmanpreet is there now, there might be Deepti Sharma, Smriti never know whose destiny takes them, but this bunch of players has the ability to take up the challenge whenever it's given to them," Mithali told reporters here during the BCCI's felicitation ceremony.

Commenting on her future at the international cricket, the 34-year-old skipper said: "As a player you want to continue but it all boils down to fitness and form. No one knows what happens in the next four years as the next 50-over World Cup is in 2021. "But the focus now is on preparing for the ICC World T20 next year. I still feel that I have 2-3 years to serve the team and for this country."

Mithali, who has played just 10 Tests in her 18-year long international career also stressed the importance of playing the traditional format, which she termed as "ultimate test" for any cricketer.

"A Test match is the ultimate challenge for every cricketer as it tests a player's temperament, skills, and endurance level. It is very important to promote women's Test matches but with the advent of T20 every cricket board wants to promote and market it in their own way."

Mithali said, "T20s and ODIs are still the ideal formats to market but it is only Test cricket that can give you quality players. There must be a proper balance between Tests and limited overs cricket but the Indian board alone can't do it. The other boards also need to be ready to play Tests."

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