Former India women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday.
At just the age of 16, Mithali Raj announced herself on the international stage as she smashed an unbeaten 114 against Ireland on her debut in a one day international (ODI) match at Milton Keynes in 1999. Three years later, she made her Test debut against England in Lucknow.
The 39-year-old represented India in 232 ODIs and 12 Test matches. She also played 89 T20I matches since making her debut against England in the shortest format in 2006.
In her career spanning almost 23 years, Mithali amassed 10,868 runs in 333 matches in international cricket. She scored eight hundreds and 85 fifties during the time.
The veteran cricketer took to Twitter to announce her decision.
“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 and enjoyable years of my life,” Mithali Raj wrote on Twitter, summing up her incredible journey.
“Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end. Today is the day I retire from all forms of International Cricket,” she added.
Mithali Raj records in international cricket
Most runs in women’s international cricket: Mithali Raj holds the record for the most runs in women’s international cricket. The 39-year-old is the only player to score more than 10,500 runs in women’s international cricket, having amassed 10,868 runs in 333 matches.
Most runs in women’s ODIs: The former India captain has scored the most runs in women’s 50-over format. Mithali aggregated 7805 runs in 232 ODIs at an impressive average of 50.68. She smashed seven centuries and 64 fifties. Former England skipper Charlotte Edwards is second on the list with 5992 runs in 191 matches.
Most fifties in ODIs: Mithali Raj scored 64 fifties in ODI cricket, the most by any player in women’s cricket. Raj is followed by Charlotte Edwards, who registered 46 half-centuries in the 50-over format.
Most capped ODI player: Mithali Raj also ends her career as the most capped ODI player in history. She has represented India in 232 ODIs - the most by any player in women’s cricket. Her former teammate Jhulan Goswami is second on the list with 201 caps in the ODI format.
Youngest to score century in women’s ODI: Mithali Raj also holds the record of being the youngest player to score a century in Women’s ODIs. At 16 years and 205 days, Mithali smashed unbeaten 114 against Ireland in 1999.
Youngest to score a double century in women’s Test: At 19 years and 254 days, Mithali Raj scored a double century against England at Taunton in 2002, becoming the youngest player to achieve the feat in women’s Test cricket. She smashed 214 in the first innings as the match ended in a draw.
Most runs for India in T20Is: Mithali Raj has scored the most runs for India women’s cricket team in the shortest format. Raj amassed 2364 runs in 89 matches at an average of 37.52. India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur is second on the list with 2319 runs in 121 matches.
Only female cricketer to play six World Cups: Mithali Raj is the only woman cricketer to appear at six ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups - 2000, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2022.
Most matches as captain in women’s ODIs: The former Indian skipper also holds the record for captaining most matches in the 50-over format. Raj has captained India in 155 matches, winning 89 while suffering 63 losses. Charlotte Edwards follows Raj, having led England in 117 matches.
Longest ODI career for any player: At 22 years and 274 days, Mithali Raj now holds the record for the longest ODI career for any player. Raj played her last ODI in the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup against South Africa at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Mithali Raj: International cricket stats
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Featured photo: Sanka Vidanagama / AFP