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Time to bring focus back on cricket, says Mithali

By The Assam Tribune

KOLKATA, Dec 22: Gearing up for the New Zealand tour, Indian women�s ODI captain Mithali Raj on Saturday stressed on the need to bring focus back on cricket after hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons following a controversial ending to their World T20 campaign.

Mithali was in the news after falling out with Ramesh Powar, who was the coach of the team at the recently held women�s World T20 in the Caribbean where she was dropped for the semifinal against England.

Their spat became public after both wrote to the BCCI and their respective letters got leaked.

But the selectors have reposed their faith on Mithali who retained her place in the T20 squad and captaincy for next month�s tour to New Zealand.

�The way things panned out was obviously not in a very good taste. It affected everybody in a different level, in a different way,� Mithali said during a promotional event here.

�Now I am sure things are settled and we should give more spotlight on the sport, on the players and in the team.�

Mithali said she and her family had to endure a lot of stress after her controversial ouster from the team.

�I can only say that the last few days were very stressful for me and my parents. And also for people around me, especially the way it panned out,� she said.

�It definitely did put women�s cricket in the spotlight which was not needed. When you talk about non cricketing issues and not the team the focus goes away from the sport.

�Now that we have a tour (vs New Zealand), it�s time that we move forward. Look forward and be more positive going forward.�

The rift between T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and ODI captain Mithali was out in the open and the team was sharply divided into camps.

Asked if she would go along well with Harmanpreet, Mithali said: �We will see. When the 15 individual players come together with the support staff, it�s a huge and big family.

�And usually in a family there will always be a difference of opinion. Everybody will not have the same kind of perspective. There will be issues and it does happen.� � PTI

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