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Mithali Raj calls for more Tests for women

Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 7:35am IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: dna

World No. 1 batswoman in One Day Internationals, Mithali Raj, cannot wait to don her white flannels once again. The only Indian woman with a double hundred in Test cricket is excited and looking forward to playing the longer format once again after a long wait of eight years when the Indian women tour England in August.

The Indian women will play a four-day contest in Wormsley from August 13-16 followed by three ODIs on August 21, 23 and 25, the first two at Scarborough and the third one at the Lord’s cricket ground.

Thirty one-year-old Raj, who spoke at the Sports Journalists Federation of India’s 37th National Convention here on Wednesday evening, said the cricket boards should organise more Test cricket for women.

“We are touring England in August and we are playing one Test. Though I have scored 214 in a Test match, I will be playing a Test after eight long years. As an experienced cricketer, I would take some time to prepare my temperament. Preparation is a must for Test cricket,” she said.

“It is sad that there are so less Test matches in women’s cricket and I hope the boards come together and organise more Test matches for women’s cricket,” added Raj.

Praising BCCI for the way they are handling women’s cricket, she also stressed on how the Indian cricket board should have more domestic matches to unearth new talents. “I would say good, but there is a flip side to it also. The domestic cricket is organised well and we get access to facilities like the National Cricket Academy. There are also monetary benefits. But the flip side is that the domestic tournaments are very short. I believe that you need to play more domestic matches to produce more players.”

Raj also wanted the board to reward them with central contracts that would help them feel secure. “As far as I know, we are the only team that does not have a central contract with the national board. I don’t know what is holding it up but it would be good if it happens because it would provide security to players who do not have a permanent job,” added Raj, who impressed last month by top scoring with 67 as Rest of the World Women’s XI defeated Marylebone Cricket Club by 41 runs in the Bicentenary Celebrations of the Lord’s ground in London on May 19.

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