India’s One-Day International captain Mithali Raj feels the Covid-19 forced break may have pushed back the growth of women’s cricket by at least two years.

Mithali, the world’s highest run-getter in 50-over cricket, also said that a full-fledged women’s Indian Premier League is still at least three years away although a fourth team can be added for the Challenger series.

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“Unfortunately, women’s cricket may have been set back by a couple of years by this pandemic as some of the momentum that had been built between India’s success in World Cup 2017 and World T20 2020 has been lost,” the 37-year-old Raj said during a webinar at the ‘Re-Setting the Sports Ecosystem: Opportunities in The New Normal World’ at FICCI FRAMES.

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Mithali said that she had had talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India brass with regards to a dedicated calendar for the women’s national team.

“However, we have had discussions with BCCI to draw up a firm calendar for the Indian women’s team so that fans can regularly cheer for the team.

“The plans have obviously been disrupted but we believe we can re-build quickly. I think a full-fledged Women’s IPL is still two-three years away but we would certainly look to have a fourth team in the Women’s Challenge that is played concurrently with the IPL,” she said.