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Women’s Premier League will unearth stars of the future, needs prime time telecast : Mithali Raj

New Delhi : Legendary India batter and former captain Mithali Raj believes the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will unearth stars of the future in the country while adding that marketing and timing are important for making the competition successful.

The inaugural edition of the WPL is set to be played in Mumbai from March 4-26. A total of 22 matches will be played with the Brabourne Stadium & D.Y. Patil Stadium playing hosts to the marquee tournament comprising Gujarat Giants, as well as Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bangalore franchises.

The player auction will be held on February 13 in Mumbai. “If you don’t show the matches in prime time and if it is not a weekend, then I’m not sure if we can have crowds turning up for the matches.

The WPL definitely will unearth a lot of stars of the future and increase the pool of talent that we have in our domestic structure,” she said in an episode of ‘Duologue with Barun Das’ show on News9 Plus.

Mithali also spoke on the pay parity for women’s cricketers while playing international matches, a move which was made last year. “Why BCCI is able to have a pay parity now is because, for a long time, the (women’s) team has been doing well.”

“They have gradually started to market it because the team is giving results and marketing helped to let people come and watch or probably view it on any platform or television and that’s how you got digital rights.

Other federations also need to do that,” she added. Asked if she is ready to take up the role of an administrator after a successful cricketing career of 23 years for India, including captaining the side, Mithali replied in the affirmative.

“Yes. If I can be part of any role in administration to chalk out the structure for the grassroots level or to (create) a yearly calendar for women’s cricket and always (be) there for women cricketers whenever they feel the need to talk something out.”

Mithali, who will be the team mentor and advisor for the Gujarat Giants in the WPL, also candidly shared some of her regrets from her long cricketing career.
“Despite being part of six world cups that I have played, I couldn’t get the trophy. That probably is one thing that is missing in my cabin.”



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