Former India women's team captain and battling stalwart Mithali Raj on Saturday was appointed as mentor and advisor for the Gujarat Giants, ahead of the inaugural season of the Women's Premier League (WPL) which will take place in March-April 2023.
Adani Sportsline, the sports development arm of the Adani Group which won the rights to operate the Ahmedabad side in the WPL with the highest bid of INR 1289 crores, said in an official statement that apart from being a mentor and advisor of the Giants, Mithali will also promote women's cricket and help develop the sport at the grassroots level in Gujarat.
"The inaugural season of the Women's Premier League is a fantastic move for women's cricket and the involvement of the Adani Group is a massive boost for the sport as well.
Women's cricket is growing steadily, and this kind of impetus will undoubtedly encourage young women to consider taking up cricket professionally." "I believe that the high-impact participation of corporates will help hasten the process of eventually bringing more glory to India.
This level of influence can help strengthen the sporting ecosystem and enhance opportunities for women athletes," she said. Mithali has featured in 89 T20Is for India and amassed 2,364 runs at a healthy average of 37.52, including 17 half-centuries.
She last played a T20I game for India in 2019 against England at home before announcing her retirement from the format. She continued to play ODIs and Tests before announcing her retirement in June 2022.
Mithali also captained India to runners-up finish at the 2005 and 2017 Women's ODI World Cups. "Mithali Raj is a role model for the young generation and we are delighted to have such an inspirational athlete on board to mentor our women's cricket team."
"We believe that the presence of international sporting heroes like Mithali will attract new talent not just into cricket but also into every other sport and transform the professional sports ecosystem," said Pranav Adani, Director of Adani Enterprises.
The inaugural edition of the WPL, comprising 22 matches, could begin in March 2023, with the player auction likely to happen in February.