Mithali Raj, veteran Indian cricketer, who has made a significant contribution towards popularizing the women’s game, ended her glorious career with a record of 7805 runs from 232 ODIs, the most in the format. The 39-year-old is also the leading run-getter in women’s cricket across all three formats, having scored 10868 runs.
The ex-India skipper appeared in 89 T20 Internationals, 232 ODIs and even featured in 12 Tests for her nation. She remains the only Indian batter to register a double hundred in the longest format of the game, having done so against England in Taunton in 2002.
Earlier, Raj had decided to retire from the T20I format in 2019 amid a fallout with former head coach Ramesh Powar during 2019 Women’s T20 World Cup.
Incidentally, Powar was last the head coach of the Indian women’s team for the 2022 World Cup, where Indian eves under Mithali had a disastrous campaign.
Raj released a statement on Twitter on May 8, stating:
“Thank you for all your love & support over the years! I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support. I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues as representing your country is the highest honour.
The journey was full of highs and some lows. Each event taught me something unique and the last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable years of my life.”
The cricketer has attained a legendary status with her exploits with the bat for over two decades. Having debuted against Ireland in June 1999 at the mere age of 16, she scored an unbeaten ton to help India win the game.
She has played in as many as six ODI World Cups and holds the unique distinction of scoring seven half-centuries on the bounce. Mithali also happens to be the only Indian skipper – male or female – to have led India in two World Cup finals (2005 and 2017).