India’s greatest batswoman Mithali Raj is quitting International Cricket. She looks forward to her second innings with the blessings and support of her friends, family and fans.
Today around 2 pm, Mithali Raj announced her retirement on Social Media by posting an image of a letter. Mithali started her journey of wearing India blues in 1999 as a 16-year-old. Retiring at the age of 39, Mithali gave 23 years to Indian Cricket, and she feels that those years proved to be the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable days of her life, and the journey was full of highs and lows.
She represented India in 12 test matches, 232 ODI’s and 89 T20Is. Every time she stepped on the field, she always played with the intent of helping her team win the match. She is the only Indian woman to score a double century in Test cricket which came against England back in 2002, she scored 214 runs, and this was also the second-highest individual score in the game. On her international debut, she scored 114 not out in an ODI, which was on 26th June 1999 at Ireland, Milton Keynes. Her century innings was a record for the youngest centurion in women’s cricket, which is still an unbeaten record.
During the 50 overs World Cup earlier this year, Mithali last appeared in Blues in a game against South Africa. Unfortunately, India lost that match by three wickets and the team was knocked out of the tournament.
She has scored four half-centuries and one double ton with 699 runs in Test Matches at an average of 43.68 runs. 64 half-century and seven centuries in ODI format, a total of 7805 runs have been scored at an average of 50.68 runs per match are a perfect example of consistency.
England’s legendary woman cricketer Charlotte Edwards became a distant second to Mithali, with her nearly two-decade-long career fetching her 5,992 runs from 191 games at an average of 38.16. During the 2017 ODI World Cup, Mithali surpassed Edwards to become the highest run-scorer in ODIs. She is also the first woman cricketer to score 6,000 runs in the format.
In T20, she has 17 half-centuries, including her high score of 97 not out, and a total number of runs scored in the format is 2364 at an average of 37.52 runs. Runs compiled in all three formats, Mithali has made 10,868 runs, and she is the leading run-scorer in women’s international cricket. She was also captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team and led them to the finals of two Women’s Cricket World Cups.
She became the first Indian captain male/female who led the Indian team to the ODI world cup finals in 2005 and then in the 2017 ODI World Cup. In 2005 India lost to Australia by 98 runs, and 12 years later, India lost to England in a very close contest. India lost by just nine runs. Mithali Raj stands at number 11 in women’s ODI Ranking, and She has also been Man of the Match in one Test match, 19 ODI matches and 11 T20 matches. The Major awards bagged by Mithali Raj are Padma Shri, Arjuna Award for Cricket, and Major Dhyaan Chand Khel Ratna Award for Cricket.
Mithali felt that this was the perfect time to call curtains on her cricket career as the team is now in the capable hands of some very talented young players, and the future of Indian women’s cricket is bright. She was also thankful to the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) for its support as a player and then as a Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team. She believes that leading the team for so many years shaped her as a person and helped shape Indian Women’s Cricket as well, she may have ended her journey of playing, but she would love to stay involved in the game and contribute to the growth of Women’s Cricket in India and world over.
Biopic – Shabaash Mithu
Mithali’s biopic is scheduled to be released on 15th July 2022. Titled Shabaash Mithu – The Unheard Story Of Women In Blue, the movie is directed by Srijit Mukherji and written by Priya Aven. Actress Taapsee Pannu plays the role of Mithali in the movie.
The movie ‘Shabaash Mithu’ will portray the hardships and achievements of Ms Raj. The film will also focus on the Indian women’s cricket team.
The movie has been shot across India and international locations. Viacom18 Studios are the producers of the biopic, and the creative producer is Ajit Andhare.