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

Playing two World Cup finals and not getting a hand on the trophy is something that really hurts India ODI captain Mithali Raj. The India legend was speaking to former Australia cricketer-turned-commentator Lisa Sthalekar during an Instagram live session and said she will give her best shot at winning the 2021 Women’s World Cup.

“That really hurts, for me so many years Jhulan (Goswami) and I have played 4-5 World Cups, ODIs and T20Is but never could get our hands on the trophies. Yeah, that is something I want to give it a best shot in 2021,” said Mithali, who hopes that the mega extravaganza is held as scheduled in February-March next year and that the Covid-19 crisis eases out before the quadrennial showpiece event.

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Mithali Raj made her World Cup debut in the 2000 World Cup and has come close to winning the coveted title twice. The first time India played a World Cup final was in 2005 when they lost the title to Australia. India had another opportunity in the 2017 edition, but this time they were beaten by England in a closely-fought final at Lord’s. Mithali was the captain both times.

With COVID-19 the whole sporting world has come to a standstill. India’s tour of England in June-July has also been postponed due to the same and Mithali hopes the crisis eases out soon and India get to play a couple of series in the lead up to the World Cup in New Zealand.

“I think the last ODI series that we played was way back in November. I was looking forward to the England tour in June-July. That would have been a good tour for India to come back into the ODI format,” she said. “Nevertheless, you can’t really predict. Such things (COVID-19 crisis) can happen.

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“However, being optimistic, I think this is a good time to work on my strength. Maybe, when you see me playing the World Cup, maybe I am a little faster than I was in 2017. You can add that line in the commentary box,” she said jokingly.

“Let’s be hopeful and optimistic that we might get a couple of series before the World Cup. If things improve and that is what I keep praying every day,” Mithali concluded.