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Mithali Raj Hints at Coming Out of Retirement; Keeps Option of Women’s IPL Open
Mithali, who had announced her retirement in June this year, is keeping all her options open for a possible return.
New Delhi, July 25: Legendary India batter and former captain Mithali Raj has hinted at coming out of retirement to play in the inaugural edition of the women’s IPL. The inaugural edition of the women’s IPL, which could be a six-team event, is assumed to be launched next year.
Mithali, who had announced her retirement in June this year, is keeping all her options open for a possibility of featuring in the first edition of women’s IPL.
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“I’m keeping that option open. I’ve not yet decided. There are a few more months to go before the women’s IPL happens. It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women’s IPL,” said Mithali on the first episode of 100 per cent cricket podcast by the ICC.
While looking back at her 23-year-old career, from making international debut as a 16-year-old to handing the reins over to the next generation, especially teenaged opener Shafali Verma, Mithali elaborated on how the youngster left a profound impact on her mind.
“I have been a big fan of her game. I have seen that she’s one player who has the ability to win the game single-handedly for India against any attack and any team. She is one of those players that you get to see probably once in a generation.
“When I saw Shafali in a domestic match when she played against Indian Railways, she scored a fifty but I could see a glimpse of a player who could change the entire match just with her innings.
“And when she played for Velocity in the first edition of the Challenger Trophy (women’s T20 Challenge 2019), she played for my team and I saw that she has the ability and the raw power that you rarely get to see at that age to clear the boundary and hit a six at will.”
Life after retirement hasn’t stopped being hectic for Mithali, who had a Hindi language biopic made on her life titled “Shabaash Mithu”. Actor Taapsee Pannu portrays her in the biopic, which had a cinematic release earlier this month.
“I thought it (retirement) would slow down my lifestyle, in the sense that I don’t have to plan my day, week or next series. After I announced my retirement, I was down with Covid, and when I recovered from that I got involved in the promotional events of the movie.
“So far it is as hectic as it has been (as a player), there’s no change to my lifestyle yet. Maybe when all these things die down, I’d probably feel the difference of what it is post-retirement,” concluded Mithali.
(With Inputs From IANS)