New Delhi, October 10: Captain of Indian women cricket team, Mithali Raj on Monday said since the ICC Women's World Cup, there has been a marked increase in following the women's game, with social media contributing heavily to the surge.
Notably, at the launch of the ICC Women's Championship in New Delhi on Monday, Mithali Raj said that the social media has played a vital role in increasing visibility for the women's game. She also hailed the ICC for social media activities such as the emojis accompanying the hashtags of marquee players, including her own.
The right-handed batter, who broke the record for most career runs in Women's ODI during the World Cup said, "Social media was on fire during the World Cup. Every day you had some article coming out and the people's response grew and my own followers have grown during the World Cup."
"Social media from ICC has given a huge platform to celebrate women's cricket. People are more curious to know about the life of women cricketers, how the journey of women's cricket and cricketers have been,” Mithali added.
"Emoji was a really good concept by the ICC," she chuckled. "A lot has to go to the way they have marketed the World Cup. Never before we've seen in the earlier World Cups that the marketing strategy came so alive," Mithali gushed.
India's journey to the final of the World Cup coupled with ICC's efforts to market the tournament stirred tremendous interest in the country. Mithali on this occasion also delved on how the tournament has led youngsters to start idolising female players.
"When I started I was the only girl in an exclusive boys' camp. Today I see more than 50 young girls taking to the sport. They want to be the next Harmanpreet Kaur, they want to be the next Jhulan Goswami. Earlier it would be who wants to be the next Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. Now, these young girls have a role model in a woman cricketer. That is something I am very happy about of the current scenario," Mithali concluded.
Interestingly, ICC is keen to build on this new pool of interest as it gets the Women's Championship underway. The Windies will host Sri Lanka in the first series of the Championship, from October 11 to 15, while England and Australia will face-off from October 22 to 29. Pakistan will host New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates (October 31 to November 5) and South Africa takes on India at home (February 5 to 10, 2018).