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Receiving Padma Shri ahead of Virat Kohli came as a huge surprise: Mithali Raj

2.85K   //    27 Jan 2015, 13:50 IST
Mithali Raj

India Women cricket team captain Mithali Raj has revealed that she was surprised after being awarded the Padma Shri, saying that she had lost all hopes of winning the award after being pitted against Virat Kohli.

“Honestly when I was pitted against Virat Kohli, I gave up because when you compare us with men’s cricket then we think that we may not get it. So I was not expecting it, but it came as a pleasant surprise,” Mithali told PTI from her residence in Hyderabad.

Mithali, who made her international debut in 1999, also said that awards didn't matter a great deal to her and also commented on the recent trend of athletes asking for recognition for their achievements.

“There are some people who feel that they deserve a particular award or recognition, but I don’t fall in that category. I am very laid back and I take it as it comes. So it’s fine with me. I have got it and am very happy about it,” she said.

Women’s cricket will hopefully have more fan following: Mithali

The right-hander, who became the first Indian woman to score a double hundred in Test cricket in 2006, added that such recognition provides confidence to players and hoped that it will lead to more fans following women’s cricket.

“It (the national awards) is a nice way of appreciating your efforts, because at a time when I started playing cricket, there was no awareness for women’s cricket. People were not even knowing that women’s cricket existed. And from that phase to today where people would want to follow women’s cricket, I think we have come a long way.

“These awards will really prop up the young girls and players to take up the sport and do much better. With this award probably people will be following women’s cricket keenly and will take a note of the international calendar of women,” she added.

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