She’s one of India’s best cricketers and even statistics attest to her stature. Yet, Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian cricket team, struggles to get her due.
Consider this. The then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy issued directions to the authorities concerned in 2005 to allot a suitable house site.
A 500-square yard plot was identified near Nizampet on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Expectedly, Mithali’s family was on the follow-up job, running from the District Collectorate to the Mandal Revenue Officer to give shape to her dreams of owning a plot. But that was not to be.
As days passed by and with the sudden demise of YSR, there was a change at the helm. Ironically, a few months later, she was told by the government top brass that the policy of allotting house sites had been dispensed with and only cash incentives would be given henceforth.
“It is a pity that women cricketers are not a respected lot in this country. Fed up with the treatment on the house site subject, I have stopped thinking about it,” sighs 31-year-old Mithali, all geared up for the England tour next month.
The only cash incentive she received was Rs.5 lakh, more than 12 years ago when N. Chandrababu Naidu was the Chief Minister.
A mainstay of Indian women’s cricket including a world record for the highest individual score of 214 in a Test match, Mithali is hoping for a clear cut sports policy by the Telangana Government with proper guidelines to reward top sports performances.