She became the first woman to play 200 matches in the ODI format this year, and now Indian women cricket team’s senior most player Mithali Raj has announced her retirement from T20 Internationals on Tuesday, Outlook India reported. Mithali has recorded the highest score by an Indian woman in T20s.  She led India in 32 T20s, including the three Women’s World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).

The 36-year-old right-handed batswoman became the first Indian cricketer to score 2000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I). Mithali played another 89 T20s, scoring 2,364 runs with 17 half-centuries.  “After representing India in T20 internationals since 2006, I wish to retire from T20Is to focus my energies on readying myself for the 2021 One Day World Cup,” said Mithali.

Key Takeaways:

  • On Tuesday, ace cricketer Mithali Raj announced her retirement from T20 Internationals. She led India in 32 T20s.
  • Rajasthan-born Mithali Raj is now considered one of the best women cricketers. She is also a good bowler, specialising in right-arm leg breaks.
  • “It remains my dream to win a World Cup for my country,” the veteran Indian cricketer said.

“It remains my dream to win a World Cup for my country and I want to give it my best. I thank the BCCI for their continuous support and wish the Indian T20 team good luck as they prepare for the home series against South Africa Women,” she added.

READ: Mithali Raj To Write Her Memoir

Powerful icon

Mithali Raj is a powerful sporting icon who has become a household name, particularly after the team’s performance during 2017 Women’s World Cup in England. But currently her slow strike rate and fielding ability is the reason why she is likely to be dropped by the team management. Also, the controversy surrounding Mithali’s allegations against Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji and chief coach Ramesh Powar, that they were trying to ruin her career, was also the highlight of this year. India took a bold decision to drop Mithali for the World T20 semi-final against England which turned into a huge chaos later.

“I do keep to myself and people can’t judge me for that right now. If they even have a little bit of humanity in them, they would understand what I have gone through to put myself to be on my own.” – Mithali Raj

Here are some quick facts and highlights from the star’s 20 year bright career:

  • In a latest, she became the first woman to play 200 matches in the ODI format.
  • Indian women cricket team’s senior most player Mithali Raj is the captain of the Women’s ODI team.
  • Mithali has recorded the highest score by an Indian woman in T20s.
  • The 35-year-old right-handed batswoman became the first Indian cricketer to score 2000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).
  • She is a powerful sporting icon whose performance during 2017 Women’s World Cup in England stole the show.
  • She loves to read. Before walking out to bat against England, she read a book by Jalaluddin Rumi on life essentials.
2017 iconic moments
Mithali Raj (PC- Espn)
  • Before cricket, Mithali was crazy about classical dancing. She learnt Bharatnatyam and wanted to make a career in dancing.
  • She is the daughter of an Air Force officer, her interest to be a part of cricket started at the age of 10.
  • Her parents thought her a lazy kid, and so introduced Mithali to cricket to be disciplined and active.
  • She debuted in One-Day International (ODIs) in 1999 as 17-year-old.
  • She is the youngest female cricketer to score a hundred on her ODI debut.
  • She is till now only one of five women to score centuries on debut and the youngest centurion in women’s cricket history.
  • Mithali became the first Indian woman and the 2nd female cricketer in the world to cross 5000 ODI runs. That day Twitterati made her famous as ‘Lady Sachin.’

Mithali Raj Sexist Comment

  • Young Mithali at the age of 19 on August 14, 2002, broke Karen Rolton’s record of highest individual test score.
  • In 2003, she received the Arjuna Award.
  • She also received the Padma Shri in 2015.
  • The same year she became the first female cricketer to win the Wisden India Cricketer of the Year.
  • Under her captaincy in the year of 2006, the Indian women’s cricket team bagged their first Test and Series win in England. In the same year, the Indian team again won the Asian Cup, for the second time in twelve months.
Bengaluru: Indian Woman's Cricket Team captain Mithali Raj speaks during a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak(PTI3_9_2016_000189B)
Picture Credit: PTI
  • She has been titled as a “dangerous cricketer” due to her bowling techniques and unexpected attacking spirit.
  • If not a cricketer Mithali would have been in civil services.

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