Raj proud of India women after World Cup defeat


India women’s captain Mithali Raj blamed her team’s narrow defeat to England in the World Cup final on nerves but says they have “set the platform” for young girls in the Asian country.

Chasing a target of 229, Raj and her side were on track to win their first World Cup title at 191/3 but a stunning collapse saw them bowled out for 219 to give the tournament hosts a nine-run victory at Lord’s.

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The 34-year-old Raj, who is the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s ODI cricket with more than 6 000 runs, said her side will learn from this experience and came back stronger in the future.

Raj, who has already confirmed that this will be her last World Cup tournament as a player, said afterwards: “Everybody was very nervous and I think that resulted in our defeat. The girls are sad because they have given it their all.

“Its natural and it will take time. These girls have set the platform. They have opened a lot of channels for women’s cricket. They should be proud.

“As a captain I am very proud. I have seen the changes the girls have made. I’ve seen the transition. The team still looks very confident they will be a team that other teams will be looking out for. That’s what I’m proud of. We started off well.

“We had a few matches in which we were defeated and we came back stronger. The girls gave their best.”