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Mithali Raj

On her world-record innings of 214 against England at Taunton recently

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj
How has your innings changed your life?
It's a turning point in my career. For the first time people are coming up to congratulate me.

How does it feel to suddenly become a celebrity?
Nice but very tiring too.

What motivated you?
I came in to bat on August 15 and felt I had to do something special. The tricolour fluttering over the ground motivated me to keep going.

Your inspiration?
Sachin Tendulkar. But my parents and brother have also played a big role in my career.

What is your next goal?
The World Cup in 2004.

In a cricket-crazy country like ours, why is women's cricket ignored?
Our board for women's and men's cricket should merge like in Australia, England and New Zealand. This way we'd automatically get better sponsorship and publicity.

How difficult was it to find sponsors for yourself?
In the beginning, I had to buy my own kit but after I started playing for India, bdm became my sponsor. I also work for the railways so they give me passes to travel for my games.

Is women's cricket beginning to attract more attention?
Things have improved since the home series against England this January, which got a lot of attention.

Is women's cricket boring?
It's surely slower than men's cricket. You'd rarely see sixes when we play.

How do you generate more interest in women's cricket?
If we win a big tournament like the World Cup in South Africa we'd automatically attract a lot more interest. The response I've got for my recent performance is proof that if you play well people do pay attention.

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