Women's cricket needs media support: India's Mithali Raj opines on Naomi Osaka controversy

Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 01, 2021, 06:32 PM(IST)

Indian women's team captain Mithali Raj makes history by becoming the highest run-getter in ODIs. (Image source: Twitter/@M_Raj03) Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

Indian women’s Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Tuesday reacted to the ongoing episode surrounding tennis player Naomi Osaka boycotting media engagements citing anxiety issues. Mithali opined that she never felt the need to boycott media as women’s cricket needs media support.

Indian women’s Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj on Tuesday reacted to the ongoing episode surrounding tennis player Naomi Osaka boycotting media engagements citing anxiety issues. Mithali opined that she never felt the need to boycott media as women’s cricket needs media support.

Osaka on Tuesday pulled out of the ongoing French Open to take care of her mental health following a massive fall-out as the Japanese tennis star had decided to boycott press conferences during the Grand Slam. Osaka had said she goes through anxiety before facing the world media. Osaka is the world's highest-earning female athlete, making $37.4 million in 2020. She burst onto the scene in 2018 with a maiden Slam win at the US Open. 

Women's cricket needs media support: Mithali Raj

"Well, I think it is tough to be in quarantine for any athlete. But, I think getting into a tournament, we do not feel that. Personally, I have not felt that I should forgo a press conference because women's cricket right now where it stands, it needs media support and it is important for players also to sort of try and help in the growth of the sport. So we need to try to promote the sport," said Mithali during a virtual press conference. 

ALSO READ: Cricket: 'Ramesh Powar will help in giving required push to the team': Harmanpreet Kaur

Many have come forward to support Osaka’s stance of protecting and taking care of her mental health including superstars like Serena Williams.

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Even former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif on Tuesday said players from different sports should have the choice to avoid media if that helps in ensuring better mental health.

"It is high time we acknowledge the issue of mental health in sports. More so in individual sports. In cricket, a coach or a senior player can be a backup option for a captain but not in tennis. Let's be sensitive, players in their weak moments should be allowed to avoid the media," tweeted Kaif.

ALSO READ: Tennis: Osaka reveals 'bouts of depression' after shock French Open withdrawal

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Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team will depart for their tour of the UK on June 2 as they gear up to take on England in a one-off Test, three ODIs, and as many T20Is, starting June 16.

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