Rajasthan-born Mithali Raj is considered one of the best women cricketers. She is also a good bowler, specialising in right-arm leg breaks. The sporting icon became the first woman to play 200 matches in the ODI format, and now a film is being made on her journey. Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu has confirmed to play the cricketer in her upcoming film, titled Shabaash Mithu. Mithali is currently the Indian women’s team ODI captain.

As the cricketer turned 37, announcing the official collaboration by captioning a picture of Mithali cutting the cake with her, Taapsee wrote on Twitter, “Happy Birthday Captain @M_Raj03 On this Birthday, I don’t know what gift I can give you but this promise that I shall give it all I have to make sure you will be proud of what you see of yourself on screen with #ShabaashMithu P.S- I’m all prepared to learn THE ‘cover drive’”

The elated actress also took to her Instagram account and revealed she will be playing the Indian cricketer in the biopic.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Happy Birthday Captain @mithaliraj ! You have made all of us proud in more than many ways and it’s truly an honour to be chosen to showcase your journey on screen. On this Birthday of yours I don’t know what gift I can give you but this promise that I shall give it all I have to make sure you will be proud of what you see of yourself on screen with #ShabaashMithu P.S- I am all prepared to learn THE ‘cover drive’ 🏏 #HappyBirthdayCaptain

A post shared by Taapsee Pannu (@taapsee) on

Key Takeaways:

  • Actor Taapsee Pannu will play cricketer Mithali Raj in her upcoming film Shabaash Mithu, announced the news on social media platforms.
  • Mithali is currently the Indian women’s team ODI captain as she announced her retirement from T20 Internationals to focus on ODI cricket
  • Wishing the birthday girl, the Saand Ki Aankh actor assured her that she is all “prepared to learn the ‘cover drive’.”

In a statement to Bombay Times, honoured Taapsee said, “Though I have already started feeling the pressure of stepping into her shoes, I don’t want to trade this place with anyone else. Mithali has always been brave and strong to back the truth, and that is why I connect with her. She has changed the way women’s cricket is perceived in India and her story is truly worth telling.” Taapsee is known for essaying the role of a female shooter in the movie Saand Ki Aankh and a hockey player Soorma.

“It’s truly an honour to play the role of India’s most successful captain where Women’s Cricket is concerned,” Taapsee said

“The way she changed the way women’s cricket is perceived and seen in India is truly a story worth telling. Kudos to Viacom18 Studios for choosing to tell this story. I look forward to working with Rahul Dholakia for this first of its kind story and to learn yet another sport which is treated as a religion in our country, cricket,” Pannu added.

READ: Mithali Raj To Write Her Memoir

Thanking for making the film happen, Mithali Raj said, “I have always stood for and voiced my opinion for equal opportunity for women not just in cricket but across all fields. I want to thank Ajit Andhare and Viacom18 Studios for not just bringing alive my story on screen but also for giving me a bigger platform to be able to reach out to young women who dare to dream.”

Mithali announced her retirement from T20 Internationals to focus on ODI cricket, and 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).  The former captain Mithali also became the first woman to complete 20 years in international cricket.

Feature Image Credit: Taapsee Pannu / Twitter

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