As per the records, she frist time, Mithali Raj played in a World Cup final, a dozen years ago, she is pretty sure almost no-one was watching.
“Hardly anybody knew India have qualified for the finals. They were all too involved in men’s cricket. The match wasn’t even televised,” she remembered.
Raj started this campaign, her fifth, on the front foot. Asked at the tournament’s opening dinner who her favourite male cricketer was, with the caveat that she had to choose from either the Indian or Pakistani team, she shot back in response.
“Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? I have always been asked who’s your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is.”
“The girls need to enjoy being in an atmosphere like that. Each one is lucky to be part of a final at Lord’s. Every cricketer dreams of playing at Lord’s because of the history. This is a big achievement,” she said.
19-year-old Deepti Sharma, 21-year old Smriti Mandhana and 24-year old Veda Krishnamurthy. All three have turned in notable performances at this tournament already – Deepti a three-for against England, Mandhana 90 against England and an unbeaten century against West Indies and Krishnamurthy a quick fifty against New Zealand.