Former India cricket captain Mithali Raj has been roped in as mentor and advisor by Women’s Premier League (WPL) side Gujarat Giants ahead of the inaugural season, which will take place in March-April this year.
Mithali, the highest run-getter in women’s international cricket, had retired last year from all formats after a 23-year-long career.
As mentor of the side, the 40-year-old cricketer will also promote women’s cricket and help develop the sport at the grassroots level in Gujarat.
The Ahmedabad franchise had emerged the costliest of the five teams during the auction recently, with Adani Sportsline shelling out Rs 1289 crore.
Mithali said the new BCCI initiative will help women’s cricket grow steadily and encourage young players to take up cricket professionally.
“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,” said Mithali on Saturday.
“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 added.
Adani Enterprises director Pranav Adani called Mithali a role model and hoped her presence will help attract new talent in not just cricket but other sports as well.
“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,” said Pranav.
“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,” he added.