Ahead of the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge, Velocity skipper Mithali Raj on Tuesday said that players have to accept the new norm of staying in a bio-secure bubble.

The Women’s T20 Challenge will be played from November 4-9 here in Sharjah and the competition will be contested between three teams — Trailblazers, Supernovas, and Velocity. Mithali Raj will be leading Velocity while Trailblazers and Supernovas will be led by Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur respectively.

“I think quarantine period is tough and it is challenging because you are confined to your rooms, there is no interaction with your teammates, but bio-bubble does give us space where we can interact with teammates and support staff, overall it is something new and whatever is new, it is challenging. As players, you have to accept the new norm of staying in a bio-bubble. We do have time slots for training sessions, it does help somedays to keep you fit,” said Mithali during a virtual pre-match press conference.

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Earlier this year, India had made the finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup, but the side fell short in the summit clash against Australia. Talking about India’s performance in the tournament, Mithali said: “It was nice to see the Indian team to play the finals of this year’s T20 World Cup in front of a packed stadium at MCG, a little disappointed that we could not get past the final hurdle, but in this format for a long time, we thought that we are not good enough but we have broken this barrier since 2016, the team has been doing well and it was good to see the side making the finals of this year’s T20 World Cup. I think the Indian team is a serious contender in every format.”

Talking about youngsters in her side, Mithali said: “I think Shafali is talented, we do have a couple of young talents in our side, I think this platform gives them the exposure to interact with overseas stars and to see how they prepare themselves. You just take it one day at a time, playing back-to-back games is a challenge as recovery time is less, its important to get game time behind us, we are here to play the best standard of cricket, it is about enjoying the platform, everybody would want to be a part of this tournament.”

For the Women’s T20 Challenge, all the matches will start from 7:30 PM IST except the second match between Velocity and Trailblazers as that will be played from 3:30 IST in the afternoon.

On October 11, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced the squads and schedule for the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge. Last year’s finalist Supernovas will be taking on Velocity in the opening game on November 4.

Velocity’s squad for the upcoming tournament: Mithali Raj (c), Shafali Verma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Devika Vaidya, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Manali Dakshini, Leigh Kasperek, Danielle Wyatt, Sune Luus, Jahanara Alam, M Anagha.

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