‘Women’s Championship reducing gap between teams’: Mithali Raj
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‘Women’s Championship reducing gap between teams’: Mithali Raj

Colombo, Sep 10: Mithali Raj, India Women's one-day international captain, credited the ICC Women's Championship for narrowing the gap between teams at opposite ends of the rankings table.

India Women are currently in Sri Lanka to play three Women's Championship ODIs, and five Twenty20 Internationals, beginning with the first ODI in Galle on September 11.India, ranked No.4 on the MRF Tyres ICC Women's Team Rankings, will take on the eighth-ranked Sri Lanka, but Raj said the gap was much closer than what the table suggested, an ICC report on Sunday said."We have played Sri Lanka in the World Cup, in the Asia Cup and I should admit that it's a team that has grown from year to year," she said here today.

"Now the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams is narrowing because of the ICC Women's Championship," Raj said.She gave the example of Chamari Athapaththu, the Sri Lanka captain, to show how far women's cricket in the island nation has progressed.

Athapaththu, who played a blinding knock of 178 not out against Australia in the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 in England, signed with Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League last year, and became the first female cricketer from Sri Lanka to do so."You do have a player here who is representing Sri Lanka in the Big Bash League," Raj said.

"That in itself should show that you have a very strong team, but India definitely is very positive about our own performance on the field," she said.The second and third ODIs will be played on September 13 and 16, with the T20Is set to be played on September 19, 21, 22, 24 and 25. (UNI)