Postponement of World Cup gives India more time to get back the lost momentum, says Jemimah Rodrigues

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Jemimah Rodrigues jumps four places to secure No. 2 spot in ICC T20I Rankings

Jemimah Rodrigues in action for India. © Getty Images

Jemimah Rodrigues, India batter, says although the postponement of the 2021 World Cup is disappointing, it will give the side time to practice together as a team and get back the lost momentum.

Rodrigues and her teammates were supposed to return to cricket after an absence of almost six months with a proposed series in England in September, but India pulled out from the tri-series featuring the hosts and South Africa citing the travel restrictions that were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, it’s sad because we have not played cricket for so long and finally when we came to know that were going to have England series everyone was so excited. But obviously to protect our players it got cancelled,” Rodrigues told ?t=255">HotSpot: The Cricket Podcast.

“We were told that it was supposed to happen. We had one Zoom call with all players and coaches. We were told that this series is lined up and we need to be mentally prepared and be in touch with the sport. I read it in a newspaper report that the series was cancelled, and nothing was told to us directly,” she added.

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“Honestly, we were expecting the tour to happen. They had delayed it a bit; it was supposed to happen earlier (in June). So we thought it is going to happen but obviously with taking precautions and arranging charter flights.”

Talking about the postponement of the World Cup, the 19-year-old believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) took the decision with the development of women’s cricket in mind.

“Everyone was sad because nobody wants cancellations and postponements, but the ICC and boards have taken this decision with a lot of thought behind it. Whatever they have done has been done is for the development of women’s cricket itself,” she said.

“If we look at it, we have more time to practice now as a team which we lost during this year due to lockdown. Looking at the positives we will practice more together and play more series against other countries (before the World Cup) and get that momentum back as a team that we have lost in the past few months.”

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Indian players will now return to cricket with the Women’s T20 Challenge that’s scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the IPL play-off week in November.

“We are excited that finally, we are getting some cricket and even we will have the women’s IPL (T20 Challenge). It will be a small tournament but it will mean so much to all of us,” Rodrigues said.

“WIPL will help us a lot, even if you see the men’s IPL there are so many players like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya who have come up and we have found talent in the IPL. Some talent we didn’t even know we had and we got them through IPL and now they are the mainstay of India. I think it is the same that will happen for women’s cricket in India thanks to the women’s IPL.”

Jemimah Rodrigues, who has played in 44 T20Is for India, hopes the potential clash with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) won’t hamper the T20 Challenge and will provide young Indian players with more opportunities.

“Honestly, it will make some difference because the players who have signed up for the WBBL already, they will probably not make it for the WIPL. So, it will be different,” she said.

“But looking at the positive side of it, many more players will get an opportunity to play on the big stage. So that is an opportunity for the younger people to rise up, players who haven’t yet had the chance and get this experience, and benefit from it. Looking from that view, we are excited and looking forward to playing in the UAE.”