Lord's, which gave admittance to women as members only after 1999, hosted a sell-out crowd on Sunday as India's dramatic collapse handed England their fourth World Cup title. "Harmanpreet is there now, there might be Deepti Sharma, Smriti Mandhana...you never know whose destiny takes them, but this bunch of players has the ability to take up the challenge whenever it's given to them", Mithali told reporters here during the BCCI's felicitation ceremony here. But the focus now is on preparing for the ICC World T20 next year.
"While it is a happy day for all Indians, it is really a matter of great pride for the Railways specially. Despite ending as runner-ups, I feel that the women's team has won the finals because they have won the hearts of the entire country". They showed that they too, can be amongst the best and this bought a lot of attention to the issue of women's cricket. But this is not the first time as I picked a five wicket haul against Pakistan early in my career as well. "The other boards also need to be ready to play Tests".
"If something like this is started in India, it will help players get exposure but it's up to the BCCI", she said.
"I can proudly say that I have led the team well", Mithali said, summing up her own tournament.
All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur and skipper Mithali Raj will also be given gazetted officers post. Prabhu said that the Railways would continue to support the women's team and ensure that the working conditions are such that they don't come in the way of their practise, training or matches.
On the eve of the final the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for every player of the team.