House sites and incentives for Mithali, Nooshin

Our Sports Reporter

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has suggested to the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh to ensure that S. Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian women's cricket team which finished runner-up in the World Cup last week, and her teammate Nooshin Al Khadeer are given house sites and suitable cash incentives.

Dr. Reddy made this gesture and announced it when Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, Minister for Tourism and President of AP Women's Cricket Association, accompanied the two women cricketers to the felicitation function at Chief Minister's chambers in Secretariat this afternoon.

Government help

The Chief Minister lauded the efforts of Mithali Raj and her teammates assured that the Government would provide all help in promoting the sport in a big way.

Later, speaking to media in her chambers, Dr. Geetha Reddy said that the modalities of the cash incentives as per the new sports policy would be discussed with Ms. Sumita Dawra, Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director of SAAP and that soon the complete details would be announced.

"These two girls brought name and fame to the country by their splendid achievements. They deserve complete encouragement on various fronts," she said.

The APWCA president also said that after the good performance of the Indian team the sport would get a big fillip in the country in general and the State in particular.

"It is a great honour for Andhra Pradesh that a Hyderabadi girl (Mithali) was also the captain of the Indian team. We sincerely believe that women's cricket would take off in a big way in the coming months," Dr. Geetha Reddy said.

Replying to the felicitations, Mithali Raj quipped that the other members of the Indian team might be jealous at the way she and Nooshin were getting these receptions.

"I am really glad that we are being recognised. I express my special thanks to the Chief Minister for his nice gesture and kind words of encouragement," the Indian captain remarked.

"The performance in the World Cup could have been the best thing to have happened to the sport in India as it badly needed a big boost. We are now looking for more international exposure to continue our good form," she said.

Nooshin said it was a great experience to be a World Cup squad member. "It would have been greater if only we had won the Cup. On that day against Australia, we just did not play to our potential, " she observed.

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