Mithali Raj calls time on her Illustrious International Career

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Mithali Raj calls time on her Illustrious International Career

Veteran Indian batter Mithali Raj has called time on her celebrated International career on Wednesday. She announced her decision through a statement on social media.

Raj, 39, wrote, “I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talented young players and the future of Indian Cricket is bright.”

Though she didn’t give any indications of her future plans, she did say that she would stay connected with the game. “Each time I stepped on the field, I gave my very best with the intent to help India win. I will always cherish the opportunity given to me to represent the tricolor,” she wrote.

“It was an honor to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person & hopefully helped shape Indian Women’s Cricket as well.

“This journey may have ended but another one beckons as I’d love to stay involved in the game I love and contribute to the growth of Women’s Cricket in India and the world over.”

The ‘Hero’ of the Indian Women’s Team, Mithali Raj’s Endless Accomplishments List

Walking into the International arena as a 16-year-old, Mithali grew to become one of the all-time greats of the game. In 1999, Mithali made her debut for India & has represented the Nation in 12 Tests, 232 ODIs, and 89 T20Is in all, 195 of them as captain. She also led the team to the finals of two World Cups.

In 1999, she kick-started her career by smashing an unbeaten 119 in an ODI against Ireland & has finished as the highest run-scorer in the ODI format with a tally of 7805 runs, smashing seven tons and 64 fifties at an average of 50.68. Her innings at the time gave her the record for the youngest centurion in women’s cricket across all formats. It remains an unbroken record in ODI cricket to date. Her last half-century came in her final match for India against South Africa in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022, when India was knocked out of the tournament.

In Tests, she aggregated 699 runs at an average of 43.68 with a century and four half-centuries. And in T20Is, Raj scored 2364 runs at an average of 37.52 with 17 half-centuries and a high score of 97*. Her overall tally of 10,868 runs made her the leading run-scorer in women’s international cricket, & no batter has scored more than her 7805 in women’s ODIs. She was also the first to score seven fifties in a row in women’s ODIs, where her tally of 64 is the highest.

In the longest format of the game, She is India’s only double centurion in women’s cricket, with her 214 against England in 2002 also being the second-highest individual score in the game.  However, later in her career, things didn’t go smoothly for Mithali in the shortest format of cricket as she was excluded from the Playing XI during the 2018 T20 World Cup. This was followed by a war of words with Mithali going against the then-coach Ramesh Powar and captain Harmanpreet Kaur. As a result, in 2019, Mithali called time on her T20I career but she is still India’s highest run-getter in the format & at No. 7 on the overall list, with current T20I captain and ODI vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur just 45 runs behind her.

Mithali has been termed the ‘hero’ of the Indian Women’s cricket & has been widely applauded for her contributions to the growth of women’s cricket in India. Mithali has been a proud holder of various civilian awards including the Arjuna award, the Padma Shri, and most recently the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2021.

Mithali might take up mentoring role & stay associated with the game in order to keep contributing to the growth of Women’s Cricket across the globe.

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