COVER FEATURE: In Conversation with the pride of Indian Women's Cricket – MITHALI RAJ

India's women cricketers have had their share of struggles ever since females started playing cricket at a professional level in the 1970s. A quick look at India's current women's team reveals how most of them come from humble backgrounds and have faced social pressures, but have made it big in the national team. Indian captain Mithali Raj, an embodiment of calmness and confidence, is one such player. Cricket being a rough game where you slog it out in the sun, her grandparents had huge issues with her playing cricket. They used to wonder who would marry her if she gets tanned. Her aunts were also a problem. But her parents were very supportive. They absorbed all negativity so that she could concentrate on cricket. But as they say fortune favors the brave, she is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all formats, including Tests, ODIs and T20Is and nicknamed as the "Tendulkar of Indian women's cricket".

Mithali Dorai Raj was born in Jodhpur on December 3, 1982 in a Tamil family. Daughter of Dorai Raj, an Air Force officer and mother Leela Raj, her interest to be a part of cricket started at the age of 10.  Before cricket, Mithali was crazy about classical dancing. She learnt Bharatnatyam and her dream was to make a career in dancing. Being cricketer was never her first choice. Her parents introduced Mithali to cricket to be disciplined and active.

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