Mithali Raj, the most capped player and highest run scorer in the history of women’s cricket, India’s most succesful women’s captain, and a legend who inspired many young girls to take up the game, brought the curtains down on a glittering 23-year career on Wednesday.
Having made her debut as a 16-year-old in 1999, Mithali went on to play 12 Tests, 232 ODIs and 89 T20Is. Her aggregate of 10,868 international runs in 333 matches — ODIS, Tests and T20I — will take some beating. The 39-year-old scored 7,805 runs at an average of 50. 7 in ODIs — a world record — and led India to 89 victories in 155 ODIs, the most for any woman captain.
She had earlier announced her retirement from T20 internationals. Mithali captained India in the ICC Women’s World Cup earlier this year in New Zealand, where India failed to qualify for the semifinals. She led India to the finals of two World Cups, 2005 and 2017, but the crown eluded her.
The stylish batter scored 2,364 runs in 89 T20Is, the most by an Indian till date.
Mithali also represented India in 12 Test matches, scoring 699 runs. She scored eight international centuries and 85 fifties. Her innings of 214 against England in 2002 remains the second-highest individual score by a batter in women’s Test cricket.