2022 edition will be my last World Cup: Mithali Raj

‘I am desperate to be part of a World Cup-winning team,’ said the only woman batter with 7000 plus ODI runs.

Mithali Raj said the 2022 World Cup in New Zealand will be her final edition, adding that she will look to play in a home series before taking a final call on whether to continue at the international level.

The 38-year-old, who scored an unbeaten 114 against Ireland on her international debut in 1999, said not winning the World Cup has been her biggest regret.

“Yes, I am desperate to be part of a World Cup-winning team. Otherwise, it has been an immensely satisfying career for me, and I take pride in my consistency and longevity at the highest level,” Mithali told The Hindu on Saturday.

Mithali insisted that it doesn’t mean she will stop playing ODIs after next year’s World Cup in March.

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Final decision

“Hopefully, I will be playing in my sixth World Cup if the situation improves by then after the second wave of the coronavirus. But, I will be looking to take a final decision on continuing at the international level after a home series next year,” said Mithali, who trains with her mentor-cum-coach R.S.R. Murthy at the St. John’s Sports Foundation here.

Mithali said the pandemic has hit women’s cricket hard.

“We were supposed to have some camps around this time, but the second wave has undone all the planning. Understandably, everyone is scared now. There’s uncertainty all over,” she said. “We will be going to England to play a Test there, the second one for India in England after the 2014 match,” she said.

“Ideally, we should start planning for the next World Cup with Plan A and B. We have to have more options in bowling and not just spin bowling. We need to work on our fast bowlers and there are quite a few talented who need to be groomed in a camp,” Mithali said.

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