‘This Journey Ends But Another Beckons’

Indian women’s ODI and Test team captain Mithali Raj announced retirement from all formats of the game on Wednesday. She confirmed the development through a social media post.

Mithali retired as the highest run-scorer in Women ODIs. After making her debut on June 26, 1999, against Ireland at Milton Keynes, she represented India in 232 One Day Internationals, scoring 7805 runs at a staggering average of 50.68. She played 12 Tests and 89 T20Is for the country and amassed 699 and 2364 runs respectively.

“Thank you for all your love & support over the years! I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support, ”Mithali tweeted.

Mithali Raj wrote a heartfelt note while drawing curtains on her illustrious cricketing career. One of the greatest women players of all time, the 39-year-old thanked the BCCI for the support she received as a player and the captain of the Indian team.

Here’s what she wrote in her retirement note:

I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues as representing your country is the highest honor. The journey was full of highs and some lows. Each event taught me something unique and last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging and 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 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 tricolor.

I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talent young players and the future of India cricket is bright.

I’d like to thank the BCCI and Shri Jay Shah Sir (Honorary Secretary, BCCI) for all the support I have received – first as a player and then as the Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team.

It was an honor to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person and 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.

Special mention to all my fans, thank you for all your love and support

Earlier this year, she became the first woman, and only the third cricketer ever, to appear at six ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups. Her record di lei entered a new decade – former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad appeared in the first six Men’s Cricket World Cups between 1975 and 1996 with Sachin Tendulkar beginning his World Cup career in 1992.

As a captain, she equalled Australian legend Belinda Clark’s tally by leading the Indian team at her fourth ICC Women’s World Cup. Clark’s tenure spanning from 1993 to 2005, according to ICC.

In March 2021, Mithali breached the 10,000-run mark in international cricket, across formats. She achieved the feat during the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI in Lucknow. England’s Charlotte Edwards was the first woman player to reach the milestone in international cricket. Edwards finished her career di lei on 10,273 runs in 309 games, while Mithali reached the milestone in 311 matches.

The former India skipper also overtook Edward’s record of the most capped female player in international cricket. During the 2nd ODI of that series, she had represented her country for the 310th time.

In September 2019, she retired from T20Is, after leading the side for 13 years in the format. She captained India in their first ever Twenty20 International, against England in 2006.

She is the first Indian woman with two T20 centuries. She left the stage as the seventh highest scorer ever in T20Is across teams. She has led India in 32 T20Is, including the World T20s in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

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