ICC Women’s World Cup 2017: We panicked in the end, says Mithali Raj
London: India women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj admitted wilting under pressure in a tense run chase against England in the World Cup final but said they will walk out as a proud bunch.
“Yes, I’m proud of the team. It wasn’t easy for England but credit to them for keeping their nerves. There was a time where the match was in the balance, but we panicked and that led to our defeat,” Raj said after the match.
“I’m very proud of the girls. They didn’t make any match look easy for the other team. We did very well in the tournament. All the youngsters in the team tried their best,” she added.
Asked about her future, she said, “I will definitely play for a couple of years more, but I don’t see myself playing the next World Cup.” On Jhulan Goswami, who took three wickets to restrict England to 228 for 7, she said, “Jhulan is an experienced bowler and has always delivered when the team has needed her to. It could’ve been a match-winning performance, but I knew England have depth.”
“Thank you to the crowd for turning up for a women’s cricket final. This is a huge boost for all the women cricketers. I’m sure this experience will help the players. Now, people back home will have a different perspective about women’s cricket,” Raj said.
England captain Heather Knight said she “can’t stop smiling”. “We knew that if we stayed on till the end and brought the rate up over five or six an over, we would be in the game,” Knight said. “We have won those tight games which is something we have worked on in the last 18 months. We have worked on situations where the heat is on us and looked to come up on top.”
The home skipper did not forget to praise gritty Indians. “They were batting brilliantly, credit to them, they’ve had a great tournament. A huge thank you to the crowds as well for coming up in large numbers and supporting us. Women’s cricket keeps growing from strength to strength and all teams have shown that,” she said.
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