‘Keeping the option open’ – Mithali Raj hints at coming out of retirement for inaugural WIPL

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The former India captain Mithali Raj has given an indication that she might come out of retirement to play in the Women’s IPL. The elegant right-hander retired from all formats of cricket in June last year, but she has left the Women’s IPL option open. Mithali represented India in 89 T20Is, scoring 2,364 runs at an average of 37.52.

The WIPL’s inaugural edition is to be played in March 2023 as the tournament kickstarts after a huge demand. Notably, Viacom 18 bagged the media rights for the tournament for the 2023-27 cycle for a whopping INR 951 crore. Meanwhile, the 40-year-old has stated that she would love to take part in the inaugural tournament.

“I’m keeping that option open. I’ve not yet decided. There are a few more months to go before the women’s IPL happens. It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women’s IPL,” she said during ICC’s 100% Cricket podcast with Isha Guha and Frankie Mackay.

Mithali played her last T20 international game in 2019 against England. She continued to play ODI and Tests until June 2022. Meanwhile, the tournament will undoubtedly gain popularity with Mithali’s presence, as the veteran has served as Indian cricket for a long time. 

Furthermore, legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami is also expected to play in the WIPL 2023, although she is yet to confirm her participation. The lanky bowler played her last international game against England and announced retirement in September 2022.

“As of now, I haven’t decided because so far, the Women’s IPL has not been officially announced. We are hopeful that it might come in the coming season. Let’s wait for the official announcement and then I will decide. At this moment, I am ending my career in international cricket. I have enjoyed every time,” said Jhulan.

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