Mithali Raj reacts to Naomi Osaka controversy

India women’s Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj, on Tuesday, said that she has never felt the need to forego a press conference as she understands that women’s cricket right now needs media support.

In a press conference ahead of the India women’s cricket team’s departure to England, Mithali Raj was asked if she has ever had issues in interacting with media during her long career.

“I think it’s tough to be in quarantine for any athlete. Getting into a tournament, we don’t feel that. Personally I haven’t felt I should forego a press conference.”

“Because women’s cricket where it stands, it needs media support. It’s important for players also to sort of try and help in the growth of the sport. So it’s important that we need to interact and promote the sport,” she said.

Mithali’s remarks came as one of the biggest names in sport, Naomi Osaka stunned the tennis world when she pulled out of the French Open after being fined and threatened with expulsion for refusing to show up at an obligatory news conference on Sunday.

The four-time Grand Slam champion had signalled her intentions to skip her media duties to protect her mental well-being on social media and returned to Twitter, on Monday, to announce her withdrawal.

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can go back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka wrote.

While her original stance had earned little backing from her fellow professionals, most of whom saying that dealing with the media was part of the job, her withdrawal triggered a wave of support from around the sporting world.

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