Mithali Raj, the captain of the Indian women’s team and a batter, has announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket at the age of 39. She stopped playing T20Is in September 2019, but she continued to play ODIs and Tests.
Mithali Raj is the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s international cricket and is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the development of the sport in India.
India legend Mithali Raj announces retirement from all forms of international cricket
Mithali Raj has announced her retirement from all forms of the game, bringing an end to an era. On Wednesday (June 8), the batting legend broke the big news on Twitter.
Mithali made her international debut in 1999 and quickly established herself as a key member of the national team. She had a string of sensational hits and led her team to numerous victories over the years. Mithali excelled in the leadership department in addition to making her bat talk. Needless to say, her farewell to professional cricket enthralled the entire cricket world, with messages of congratulations pouring in from all directions.
Mithali Raj, one of the most illustrious Indian cricketers in history, shattered a slew of records during her illustrious international career.
While Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar dominated men’s cricket during his incredible career, former India captain Mithali Raj remained the international face of women’s cricket. For the uninitiated, Sachin Tendulkar and Mithali Raj are the all-time leading run-scorers in men’s and women’s cricket, respectively.
Mithali made her debut at the age of 16 and went on to become one of the all-time greats and a linchpin of India’s batting over the next two decades, winning the Arjuna award, the Padma Shri award, and the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award in 2021.
Mithali came onto the scene as a teenager and made an immediate impression, slamming a century on her ODI debut. She became the youngest centurion in women’s cricket when she hit an unbeaten 114 against Ireland. Mithali currently holds the record for WODIs.
Mithali Raj became the first female cricketer to play in six different campaigns of the world’s most prestigious tournaments during the 2022 edition of the ICC Women’s World Cup.
She is the only female cricketer to score 7,000 runs in one-day internationals. She has 7,805 runs at an average of 50.68 in 232 ODIs, including 7 centuries. Her 64 fifties are the most in the WODIs.
Pens heartfelt note
While making the announcement, she also wrote an emotional note.
“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, & enjoyable years of my life.”
“Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end. Today is the day I retire from all forms of International Cricket. Each time I stepped out 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 tricolour,” she posted on Twitter.
Mithali Raj went on to say that she wants to be a part of women’s cricket in any way she can. Many women have been inspired to take up the sport as a result of her efforts, and the 39-year-old hopes to continue doing so in the future.
“It was an honour 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 world over,” she added.
Mithali has scored 699 runs in 12 Tests for India and 2,364 runs in 89 Twenty20 Internationals. She scored 10,868 runs in total across all formats, making her the leading run-scorer in Women’s International Cricket.