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Women’s World T20 2016: Mithali Raj on women’s cricket in India

 

Women\'s World T20 2016: Mithali Raj on women\'s cricket in India

Who is the first player to score a double hundred in a one-day international?

More often than not, the answer given would be India legend Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 200 in 2010. Since then, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle have all posted a double ton.

However, not many are aware that the first player to hit a double century in one-day cricket is actually a female player. Former Australia batter Belinda Clarke scored 229 not out in a World Cup match in India, way back in 1997.

This shows the lack of awareness about the women’s game even in a cricket crazy country like India.

India’s women cricketers have had their share of struggles ever since females started playing cricket at a professional level in the 1970s.

A cursory look at India’s current women’s team reveals how most of them come from humble backgrounds and have faced social pressures, but have made it big in the national team.

India captain Mithali Raj, a veteran of 164 one-day matches, brings a certain calmness and confidence to her team.

Mithali is only the second batter to score 5,000 runs in women’s one-day internationals after England’s Charlotte Edwards.

She told BBC Hindi: “When we travel with big sports kits, most people ask us if we are hockey players. They still can’t fathom that we might be cricket players.

“My grandparents had huge issues with me playing cricket. It is a rough game where you slog it out in the sun. They used to wonder who will marry me if I get tanned. My aunts were also a problem.

“But my parents were very supportive. They absorbed all negativity so that I could concentrate on cricket.”

The younger players coming from small villages and towns have similar stories of will triumphing over lack of facilities and discrimination. […]

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