Mithali Raj was recently present for Pro Kabbadi League to launch Women Kabbadi League © Getty Images
Mithali Raj was recently present for Pro Kabbadi League to launch Women Kabbadi League © Getty Images

India Women skipper Mithali Raj recently visited Vadodara to visit thousands of school kids, who were waiting for her autograph on a rainy day. Mithali did not disappoint those kids. Mithali Raj had visited the town to participate as a speaker at a youth speak forum. Mithali was present in the recently concluded Pro-Kabbadi League. She was there to mark the inaugural edition of the Women’s Kabaddi League 2016. She sang the national anthem while present at the event. She also branded it as a good platform for the women to take up the sport as a good profession. Mithali is also happy that her vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur was selected for Women’s Big Bash League, although improvements are required further. ALSO READ: Mithali Raj: When it comes to pure cricket skill, women are at par with men

While speaking to ‘Baroda Times’, Mithali spoke on array of matters right from her memories with Vadodara, gender equality, controversy related to Sania Mirza and her thoughts on the same. She started saying, “I have loved playing at all the grounds in Gujarat but due to my hectic schedules, I rarely get time to explore the cities. I am fond of spicy food and Gujarat offers an interesting contrast, as I find the food sweet here.” Speaking on gender equality, she mentioned, “Primarily, yes. I want to motivate our girls to get proper education and become independent.  For instance, I am always asked about how it feels to be referred to as ‘lady Sachin’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge honour if someone mentions your name with a legend like Tendulkar. But my point is, why compare men’s and women’s games at all?” ALSO READ: Mithali Raj praises Joe Root for doing Shah Rukh Khan’s signature pose

She is keen to win World Cup and added, “Well, I am proud to have had some fantastic memories with the Indian girls in my long journey. I wish we had done better at the World T20 Championships earlier this year. But I feel the team has a good chance at the 2017 World Cup. I want to lift the World Cup trophy before I hang up my boots, which has eluded me all these years.” ALSO READ: Mithali kick-starts PKL 2016 with Indian national anthem

She finally spoke on the controversy related to Sania and said, “(Laughs) Sania is younger to me and I have been facing this for a while. I completely support what she said. Women should be free to choose whatever they want to do with their lives and why should they take any major decision based on society pressure? In fact, this fear of what the society will think has ruined many promising female careers in different fields. A lot of men are very insecure and can’t handle successful women, which is sad. Women deserve equal rights and it’s unfair to bring up gender issues in everything.”

Lastly, even if Harmanpreet has got selected for Women Big Bash League (WBBL), she needs further improvement on treatment towards Women, saying, “It’s a good gesture from the BCCI to allow our women players to play in leagues abroad, and it will help the concerned players significantly. With a lot of women’s international games being telecast live on television, things have improved significantly in the last two-three years. The men, immediately after the T20 World Championships, played in the IPL and then went for the West Indies tour. We, on the other hand, have a long off season ahead, which never helps. Also, like we do for men’s teams, it will be nice to have India A and under-23 women’s teams playing against opponents in different conditions.”