SPORT

Shah hopeful of early merger

Sports Reporter

CHENNAI: Sudha Shah is optimistic that the Women's Cricket Association of India would soon merge with BCCI. Talking to presspersons here on Friday, the Indian women's team coach said, "we are the only association that is affiliated to ICC and its President Eshan Mani has said he'll put in a word to BCCI to hasten the process (merger)."

On losing to Australia in the final, Shah said, "while their experienced players clicked, ours failed. Moreover, Australians are mentally tougher and their fitness levels are much higher," she said. "Our girls have really improved in the last two years."

Shah praised left-arm spinner Neetu David, the top wicket-taker in the tournament with 20 wickets, off-spinner Nooshin Al Khader, medium-pacers Amita Sharma (14 wickets), Jhulan Goswami (13 wickets) and wicket-keeper Anju Jain for their sterling displays. "India is known for spinners but our medium-pacers too did well," she said.

Shah reiterated that the biggest hurdle lay in the lack of infrastructure and finance. "Sponsors need to come in. The merger will surely help."

Shah praised the team's fitness trainer Sivakumar and physio Shiv Shankar, who were present at the press conference. India will next play a home series (ODI & Tests) against England in November this year.

Sundari Sankaran, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Women's Cricket Association, proposed the vote of thanks.

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