After taking her team to its 12th Title victory, skipper Mithali Raj, in an exclusive interview with Sports Today, talked about how the team was driven to win the trophy since the last season of the tournament. As the championship got canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Railways women had to wait even longer to get hold of the trophy.
Railways have won the title 12 times out of the 14 tournaments played since inception. They had lost the 2018-19 semi-finals to Bengal, who then went on to become the champions. Thus, Bengal and Delhi having won the title once, Railways has overpowered all the teams in previous 14 Seasons.
Here are the Winners of the Senior One Day League from its inception in 2006 till today.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) April 4, 2021
Skipper Mithali Raj, while talking about the team’s strategies, was all praises about the squad, on how they managed to keep up with the momentum when she was on national duty, leading her team in the South Africa Tour of India. She had a special mention for vice-captain Sneh Rana, who led the team while Raj was unavailable.
“It’s an incredible feat to win the One Day Domestic Championship. It’s our 12th title in the last 14 years. Being title-less in the last 2 seasons, that has made the girls hungry to win a title this year,” she said.
“When we lost to Bengal in the semi-final in the 2018-19 season, as a team, we put our heads down, we worked on a few things. As a captain, along with the coach, we decided not just to pick the best XI but to pick the best 20 due to the pandemic. We also inculcated in every team member that it’s not enough with just getting opportunities. We told them ‘if one is presented with an opportunity, they must rise to the occasion,” she added.
Not only about the final game, but Raj also talked about how the team members had been consistent since day one, which proved to be very beneficial for them. She said – “For example, in the final, Meghna Singh, who replaced injured Arundhati, used that one opportunity in the knockout stage”.
“Similarly, I can speak for Sneh Rana, the stand-in captain when I was away on national duty and the vice-captain of the team. The openers have been consistent. It’s just not about individual players performing. We understand we want to have a compact unit and build a good side. That’s what we worked on over the last 2 years,” she added
“That’s why I am proud of this team. This team truly understands the worth of opportunities. There is a motivation that we want to win the title. We had a good mix of seniors and young players in the squad. Overall, it was a good season for Indian Railways,” she concluded.
She was content with how the team performed during her absence. Raj joined the Railways team during the knockout stage as she was playing the ODI series against South Africa. Though India lost the series 4-1, Raj achieved two big milestones, that being her 7000 ODI career runs and her 10000 international career runs. She was also awarded a memento at the end of the series.
Railways won the final game beating Jharkhand by 7 wickets on 4th April.
(For Full Interview, read here: IndiaToday)
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