Mithali Raj, the veteran Indian women‘s cricketer, has confirmed her retirement from all forms of international cricket. The seasoned cricketer made her debut in 1999 and played for the country for the next 23 years. In her career, she played 12 Tests, 232 ODIS, and 89 T20Is for India.
Mithali Raj released an official statement on social media on Wednesday, saying, “Thank you for all your love & support over the years! I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support.”
The right-handed batter will be remembered for her tremendous run-scoring heroics, including a record 7,805 runs in ODIs, nearly 2,000 more than former England captain Charlotte Edwards, who is the second-highest run-scorer in this format. In her ODI career, she has scored seven centuries and a record 64 fifties. Mithali scored 699 runs in 12 Tests, including a century and four half-centuries. She also scored 2364 runs in T20Is at an average of 37.52, with 17 half-centuries and a highest score of 97 not out.
“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,” said Mithali in her statement.
“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 tricolour.
“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 talented young players and the future of Indian cricket is very bright.
“I’d like to thank the BCCI & 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 honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person & 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 & support,” she said.
Here is Mithali Raj’s post
Thank you for all your love & support over the years!
I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support. pic.twitter.com/OkPUICcU4u
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) June 8, 2022
Here is how the cricket fraternity reacted
It was an honour to watch you play & lead #TeamIndia, legend! 🇮🇳
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 8, 2022
We overcame odds, both in life & on the cricket field, ever since we started playing U19 cricket. Your affection & support as a colleague & captain always inspired and pushed me towards achieving greater heights. You were outstanding both on and off the field. @M_Raj03 @BCCIWomen https://t.co/trPxGz6kBR
— Jhulan Goswami (@JhulanG10) June 8, 2022
Congratulations @M_Raj03 on one beautiful journey. Fortunate to have played alongside. You’ve inspired oodles of young girls to take up the sport. Your name shall remained etched forever in the hearts of cricket fans. Well played, truly. 👏 #mithaliraj pic.twitter.com/rC5coLutSc
— Reema Malhotra (@ReemaMalhotra8) June 8, 2022
Between Mithali Raj’s debut and retirement, we all grew up 📺 pic.twitter.com/25rX7EeDiA
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 8, 2022
Towards the end of her career, Mithali had been in form longer than some of her teammates had been alive 🙂 That’s how long she served Indian cricket. Congratulations and thank you @M_Raj03. Good luck for your second innings 🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/dQYTP8fMxd
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 8, 2022
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) June 8, 2022
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) June 8, 2022
Mithali Raj retires from all formats of the game, Thank you legend.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 8, 2022
Most runs. 23 long years. The Greatest of All Time. 🐐🇮🇳
Thank you for everything, Mithali Raj. 👑💗 pic.twitter.com/NMG2YMCiY3
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) June 8, 2022
🏏🇮🇳 THE TALE OF MITHALI RAJ! Eternally grateful for all the memories 👑
♥️ Mithali Raj’s Bharat Army forever!
— The Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) June 8, 2022