Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj fret over lack of preparation time

Women's CricZone Staff
New Update
Christchurch to host final, Auckland the opening match of ICC Women's World Cup 2021

Mithali Raj speaking at the revealing of host cities for the ICC Women's World Cup 2021. © ICC

The deadly coronavirus outbreak has brought the whole world to a standstill and with ICC Women’s World Cup in sight in 2021 in New Zealand, India stalwarts Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are worried about the lack of preparation time ahead of the mega event. Both players have retired from T20Is and are at the fag end of their illustrious careers.

“The BCCI had scheduled the domestic T20 meets to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia. So a delayed start to the one-day meets was on cards, but unfortunately, the tournaments had to be cancelled,” Jhulan was quoted as saying to Times of India. “It was quite a setback as I was looking forward to playing some competitive cricket before our next international engagement.”

The lockdown has prompted the BCCI to cancel two major domestic events, Senior Women’s One-Day knockout and Senior Women’s One-Day Challenger. Echoing her teammate, Mithali said, “For Jhulan and I, who have limited ourselves to just one format, it's little difficult as we have been out of action for a while.”

ALSO READ: Rewind - When Indian girls made history in South Africa

“Things are so gloomy all over the world. I can only pray for all those who are engaged in fighting this deadly virus. Tournaments can be rescheduled but lives cannot be sacrificed,” added the India ODI skipper, who is also the world’s highest run-getter (6888) in the 50-over format.

“The need of the hour is to keep ourselves safe. There will be many matches to play after we get past this phase,” agreed Jhulan, holder of 225 ODI scalps. “It felt odd initially as I was not going to the ground at all. It took me some time to get used to this new way of life,” Mithali, the world’s most-capped (209) ODI player, said.

With the India-Pakistan series unable to take place, if the ICC divides the points equally between both teams, India will qualify directly for next year's World Cup. “In case that doesn’t happen, we will have to play the qualifiers, which are likely to be rescheduled. The bilateral series against England too looks uncertain at this stage. Our preparations will take a hit,” admitted the Hyderabad-born girl.

ALSO READ: BCCI knows how to take care of its players  

So how is Mithali making up time during this lockdown? “I wake up before dawn, go to the terrace and work out. It’s beautiful to watch the sunrise. Then I have breakfast with my dad, something I had not done for a long time. I also water the plants and relax by watching something interesting on Netflix. In the evening I spend some time improving my batting skills in the car park area and take a leisurely walk on the terrace while watching the sunset. These things keep me going,” she informed.

Apart from working out, listening to music and watching movies, Jhulan is honing her culinary skills. “I have asked my cook to stay at home. So, I have to fix lunch and dinner for myself,” she admitted.