Mithali Raj headlines new season of Duologue

Mithali Raj headlines new season of Duologue

February 10, 2023

Streaming just ahead of the T20I Women’s World Cup, former two-time captain of the Indian women national cricket team Mithali Raj poured her heart out in a new season of Duologue with Barun Das on News9 Plus.

Raj spoke about the game-changer for women’s cricket, the Women’s Premier League, where she mentors the Gujarat Giants team, building an ecosystem that encourages women to take up sports in India, the BCCI’s progressive pay parity, and her eagerness at taking a sports administrator role.

Raj, known for her unparalleled batting skills and fierce determination on the cricket field, revealed a new facet of her personality on Duologue with Barun Das, streaming now on the world’s first news OTT – News9 Plus. 

Barun Das, MD & CEO of TV9 Network, commented:

Mithali’s unique perspective on leadership and well-structured ideas on bridging the gap in a ‘man vs woman’ sporting culture made the duologue an insightful and memorable one.

Mithali Raj, spoke about the possibility of taking up the role of an administrator, stating:

Yes. If I can be part of any role in administration to chalk out the structure for the grass root level or to (create) a yearly calendar for women’s cricket… and always (be) there for women cricketers whenever they feel the need to talk something out.

Despite being part of six world cups that I have played, I couldn’t get the trophy. That probably is one thing that is missing in my cabin.

Being forthright comes naturally to the former captain, Raj. In the very first episode, she disclosed her reasons for announcing her retirement from cricket on social media on June 8, 2022. But, moving beyond bygones, Raj spoke on the critical role media plays in shaping public perception of female athletes and expressed her desire for furthering equal representation and opportunities as her male counterparts. 

Raj added:

Why BCCI is able to have a pay parity now is because for a long time the (women’s) team has been doing well. They have gradually started to market it because the team is giving results and marketing helped to let people come and watch or probably view it on any platform or television and that’s how you got digital rights. Other federations also need to do that.

If you don’t show the matches in prime time and if it is not a weekend, then I’m not sure if we can have crowds turning up for the matches. The WPL definitely will unearth a lot of stars of the future & increase the pool of talent that we have in our domestic structure.

Barun Das complimented Mithali Raj’s leadership style and drew similarities with his own. On the ultimate episode of the series, titled “Lessons in Leadership”, Das asked Raj about her huddle with team members before a match. “Do you tell your team ‘Let’s go and fight’ or do you tell them ‘Let’s go and win’,” he asked. The former captain’s response is sure to go up on pin boards in dressing rooms of cricketing teams the world over.

Duologue with Barun Das featuring Mithali Raj is a new season of four webisodes on News9 Plus.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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