England is a challenging place, says Mithali Raj

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Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 10:51 [IST]
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'England is a challenging place'

Mumbai, Jun 21: Admitting that England is a challenging place to play cricket, Indian women's cricket team's captain Mithali Raj has said previous experience in those conditions will help and they will do well.

The Indian team left for England on Thursday morning to play against England in a five-match ODI series and two Twenty20 Internationals starting from June 26. The tour will end on July 11. The 15-member squad left from Mumbai.

"England is a challenging place. I have played many tournaments there and I am sure with the experience, we will do well. The team played a quadrangular last year around the same time. Though the players are not inexperienced, we are a young side and looking forward to the series," said Mithali.

"I won't say we will win but we will play positive cricket. With the World Cup and Asia Cup coming up, we have to be positive and confident. England conditions are tough for every cricketer. It is a challenge for us," she added.

The team had a preparatory camp in Mysore from June 5 to 15. And the skipper said it "went very well."

"We had a good preparatory camp in Mysore. It was more of match practice, one-day and T20. It went very well. Fortunately, the first few days of the camp in Mysore was overcast.

"We played practice matches against boys in Mysore which will give us confidence. That should help us," Mithali, who has played eight Tests, 135 ODIs and 30 T20Is.

Mithali, 29, has returned as captain and said it was a challenge for her. "It is a challenge for me. The previous series against Australia did not go well for us."

When asked about Indian Premier League for women, she said: "It is too early to think of IPL for women. Women's cricket is not popular. We should start playing T20 at a fast pace. Women's cricket world over should be marketed. If we start with a lower scale and market women's cricket well, then we can think of a larger scale. I am sure it will happen one day."

India Squad: Mithali Raj (captain), Harman Preet Kaur (vice-captain), Sulakshana Naik, Suneeta Anand, Jhulan Goswami, Ameeta Sharma, Poonam Raut, Reema Malhotra, S Subalaxmi, Veda Krishnamurthy, Gauhar Sultana, Ekta Bisht, Archana Das, N Niranjana, Mona Meshram.

Itinerary (all matches against England)

June 26: First T20I, Canterbury
June 28: Second T20I, Chelmsford
July 1: First ODI, Lord's, London
July 4: Second ODI, Taunton
July 5: Third ODI, Taunton
July 8: Fourth ODI, Truro
July 11: Fifth ODI, Wormsley


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