Mithali Raj bids goodbye to cricket. A career with highs and lows, Glory and Criticism, she carried herself with poise and grace
Let’s admit a simple truth that Indian Women’s Cricket was never taken seriously. Most of the time it was accused off lacking the same degree of flamboyance as the men’s. Limited sponsors, empty cricket grounds and no followers had been the fate of Indian Women’s Cricket. Looking back at the beginning of cricket in 1934, the first women’s cricket match was played between England and Australia. However, arrival of women’s cricket in India happened much later in 1973. While the Indian team played its first match against the West Indies, they recorded their first win under Shantha Rangaswamy at the Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium in Patna. International Cricket Council (ICC) took on itself to promote women’s cricket. With this in mind the Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) was merged with the BCCI in 2006. One of the world’s most prolific women cricketer’s Mithali Raj announced Retirement from all form of cricket.
Mithali Raj steps down from cricket, chooses to focus on other things
It is now official. Mithali Raj has stepped down from all forms of cricket. A legend in her own way, Mithali paved the way for the popularity of the women’s cricket in India. From the time of women player seen as a laughing stock of many to the point of popularity, Mithali has a huge role. One can imagine that the journey from just an anonymous player to a one of the world’s greatest was not easy. When Mithali hangs her boots today, it brings down curtains at an illustrious career that a few can boast of.
Mithali Raj Records during her Tenure
As Mithali Raj announced retirement, lets go over her achievements which made her one of the greats of the team. Here are few of her many records that made every Indian proud.Known as lady Sachin tendulkar, she played from 1999 to 2022, with captaining the side from 2004 to 2022.Here are her records that stand today.
- Highest run-scorer in women’s cricket
- Only female cricketer to have passed the 7000 run mark
- First Female player to score seven consecutive half centuries
- Most Half-centuries in the world
- During 2018 Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup, she became first Indian man or woman to reach 2000 WT20 runs
- First Female Cricketer to reach WT20 runs.
- Only Indian female player to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017.
- First woman to complete 20 years in International cricket , a commendable feat to be proud of.
- 12 Test matches, 232 women’s One-day Internationals and 89 T20 Internationals
- 10868 international runs speak to her achievements and longevity.
Awards and Accolades
Raj in her glorious career spanning over 22 years has bought the country many laurels both nationally as well as Internationally.
Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World 2017
Arjuna Award 2003
Padma Shri 2015
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna 2021
Mithali Raj persevered even in fierce competition from younger players
As Mithali Raj announced retirement, lets rewind on a journey which has been not easy. Surviving as a leader for years among the growing younger generation she held her place with the same firmness. Mithali maintained her averages at 43.68, 50.68 and 37.52 in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively. Looking at above, one can only say, what a career it has been. Although she announced retirement long ago , let us celebrate her tenure as a groundbreaking effort for Indian Women’s cricket.