India captain wants to have a last hurrah in 2021 but wants to take a call after seeing her form and fitness between now and then.
Mithali Raj became the leading run-scorer in women’s One-Day International history during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 in England earlier this year, as she led India to the final where it fell to the indomitable host in front of a packed Lord's crowd.
But while the charismatic India captain had earlier declared that the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup would be her last, at the launch of the ICC International Women's Championship 2017-2020 cycle in New Delhi on Monday, she hinted at a possible appearance at the 2021 edition in New Zealand too.
"I am not writing off playing the next World Cup but I will have to get through these next three years to get into the fourth year for that World Cup. It is also important for me to see and analyse how my form is by then (2021), so right now I am looking at the World T20 (2018) and the other matches I get to play in 2018,” said the 34-year-old batter.
While the World Cup runner-up hasn’t played a single fixture in any format since the final in July, Mithali and her team-mates have been constantly on the move with media appearances and felicitations that have had them living out of a suitcase, according to the India captain.
"It has been really busy since July but it feels nice to be appreciated and treated at par with men's cricket. People want to know more about the lives of women cricketers. It was not the case back in 2005," said Raj, whose first ICC Women’s World Cup final appearance was against Australia in 2005.
Aside of domestic cricket fixtures, India will be touring South Africa in January for three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals, with the T20I series to be played as double-headers with the men's exchanges.
"The domestic season starts in December and that will act as preparation for the South Africa tour,” pointed out Raj. “It will also be the beginning of getting back into the game for players after a three-month lay off."