Mithali Raj
India women’ team captain Mithali Raj © Getty Images

With just a year to go for the next women’s cricket World Cup in England, Indian skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday stressed the need for more specialised coaching staff in the team. “With pretty much a year (for the World Cup) to go, we should start our preparation as soon as possible. I personally think we need to have a more enhanced support staff,” Raj was quoted as saying by espncricinfo. “That’s the first thing I will look into. For the World Cup (World T20), we just had a coach, manager, physio and trainer. Probably if we have a fielding coach or an assistant coach it will enhance the team as there won’t be too much pressure on the coach to look after everything. Read: WBBL franchises set eye on India Women players

“The coach can’t deal with everything. (For instance) when some of us are batting in the nets, there is nobody to give fielding practice to the other girls as the coach would be at the nets,” she added. The 33-year-old also said it would be ideal to have preparatory camps ahead of India’s forthcoming series against West Indies and Pakistan, which would help the team in regrouping.

“Both these series are going to be vital in terms of points and preparation. I would prefer to have a couple of camps before these series because getting the girls to regroup after a break is important. Read: Cricketers pay tribute to boxing legend Muhammad Ali

There are also some girls who might want to work on different things,” she said. Welcoming the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to allow India’s women cricketers to play in foreign leagues, the Rajasthan batswoman said it will give the youngsters a platform to fine-tune their trade.

“It’s a very positive decision. Since we don’t have one (a league) of our own this crossover will give youngsters like Smriti Mandhana and other young spinners a chance to play in leagues abroad where there will be exchange of cultures,” she said. Read: – Mithali Raj: India Women need fielding coach

“It’s a great opportunity for them to start observing other players and their rituals, their tactics and how they prepare. It’s a different feeling to be playing with a player who you have never played in the same team with. That’s how we felt when we played in the Rest of the World (versus MCC) match,” she added.