Players like Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj can continue as long as they perform, says Neetu David

Women's CricZone Staff
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EXCLUSIVE: Aim to help players in the fringes to graduate to the highest level, says Neetu David after appointment chair of selection panel

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Newly-elected BCCI women’s chief selector Neetu David has stated the importance of having veteran players like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami in the team and can continue playing as long as they are performing.

“Nothing is permanent. Change is the rule of nature but experience counts a lot. Experience and youthful energy in the team is a good combination,” said David, who along with four others was elected on Saturday (September 26). The other four members of the committee are Arati Vaidya, Renu Margrate, Venkatacher Kalpana and Mithu Mukherjee.

“Having said that, it is important to give youngsters an opportunity at the right time. Shafali got into the team at the right time and has done well for the country. There are a lot of young players who deserve that opportunity,” she added.

In an interview, Jhulan spoke about not having retirement plans anytime soon as long as her body is doing well. Despite that questions were raised on the futures of both Jhulan and Mithali with rumours doing rounds that the upcoming 50-over World Cup (2022) could be their last.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Aim to help players in the fringes to graduate to the highest level, says Neetu David after appointment chair of selection panel

Quashing any such rumours, David said, “You can’t pressurise anyone into retirement. If they perform well they can surely continue. But retirement decision is ultimately theirs and with the kind of experience they have, they know very well when to take that decision.”

One of the finest spinners, India has ever produced, David still holds the world record for best bowling figures in a Test inning — 8/53 against England in Jamshedpur in 1995. She was also a member of the India squad that finished runners-up against Australia in the 2005 World Cup.

With the likes of Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma and many more in the spin department, David feels that the pace department needs to be looked at. She also reiterated the fact that bringing in the big match temperament will also be one of the key areas they would work on extensively. India lost the T20 World Cup final this year and also finished runners-up in the ODI World Cup final in 2017.

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“Winning a world title is the ultimate goal. We will work on that and other areas where we are lacking. We will also talk about the big match temperament with the coach and captain but at the end of the day it is their department,” said David, who has played 10 Tests picking up 41 wickets.

The 43-year-old also spoke highly in unearthing more young talents like Shafali Verma who was the star of the T20 World Cup earlier this year. “The way cricket is being played, it is quick and for that, we need more players like Shafali. Earlier, the approach was different but now you see batters trying to be aggressive from the word go even in domestic cricket. We want to give the opportunity to those kinds of players,” she stated.

However, the first assignment for the David-led selection committee panel will be picking the squads for the Women’s T20 Challenge which is slated to happen in the UAE between November 1 to 10. With no cricket being played for the last six months in the country, selecting players will be a challenge. “We have just been appointed, there is lots to learn about the current structure but will keep talking to them about all the issues that matter,” she concluded.