Two legendary Indian cricketer – Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami  – have been rested for the Women’s T20 Challenge 2022. The tournament begins on May 23 and the final will take place on May 28 at the MCA Stadium, Pune

BCCI announced the squads for the three teams – Velocity, Trailblazers and Supernovas – on Monday. Deepti Sharma, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur were named the captains. 

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Veteran India cricketers Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey, who all played in the previous edition, are the notable absentees in the squads.

Raj and Goswami were a part of India’s World Cup squad as captain and premier bowler. However, since the team’s heartbreak exit from tournament, questions about their retirement have been following the two. 

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Mithali Raj is the leading run-getter in international cricket. Her international T20 career came to an end in 2019. Jhulan Goswami has 252 ODI wickets and 56 in T20Is against her name. The two, 39, re at the business end of their illustrious careers.

Goswami is recovering from a side strain that she suffered during the World Cup. 

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A BCCI source, ahead of Raj’s Women’s senior T20 stint this year, said that the star batter ‘will be there to guide the younger players’. “As a senior player, she understands her role really well. Anyway, she never misses domestic assignments when not on national duty,” a BCCI source told PTI.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami might be rested for them to rejuvenate for India’s upcoming international assignment in September when they play three T20s and as many ODIs in England after the Commonwealth Games in July-August.

If the two are not included in the national squads, the message will be clear – India is ready to move on from the stalwarts. 

The Women’s T20 Challenge will see Deepti Sharma replace Mithali Raj as Velocity captain. Several new stars like Monica Patel, Muskan Malik,  Priyanka Priyadarshini and also Renuka Singh. 

It’ll be interesting to see who can come in the Indian side and fill Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj’s big shoes.