Mithali Raj, one of the best women's batters in history, announced her retirement from international cricket. Mitahli has set several records in her illustrious career of 23 years and scored an aggregate of 10,868 international runs in 333 matches - ODIS, Tests and T2OI. With most runs in women’s cricket and the only Indian captain - man or woman - to have led the side in two 50-over World Cup finals, the 39-year-old, however, retires without the World Cup trophy in her cabinet.
This deep desire to be a World Cup winner was what forced Mithu, as she’s fondly called by family and friends, to push all boundaries. She was reluctant to call it quits without fulfilling her dream but “like all journeys, this one too must come to an end” as she noted in the retirement message.
“I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the Indian blues and representing the country is the highest honour. The journey was full of highs and some lows. The last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging & enjoyable years of my life,” Mithali said.
Mithali made her ODI debut at 16 and scored an unbeaten 114 against Ireland at Milton Keynes in 1999. Faced with a choice between Bharatanatyam and cricket, Mithali decided to take the road less travelled.
Though she was pushed a bit in the initial stages, for 23 years, Mithali dominated women’s cricket. “From making my debut till now, it has been two decades of my prime life which has not been at home but at the ground - different countries, hotels, grounds, coaches, travel. It’s been a very privileged journey. Honestly, I never planned my career just like I don’t plan my innings.”