BENGALURU: Renowned Indian cricketer Mithali Raj on Wednesday announced her retirement from international cricket.
“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,” she wrote in her farewell letter.
She continued: “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 bright. It was an honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person and hopefully helped shape Indian Women’s Cricket as well.”
She concluded by thanking her fans for their love and support.
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
The champion batter started her international career in 1999 in an ODI against Ireland and went on to represent India for 23 years. In her illustrious career, the 39-year-old played 232 ODIs, 89 T20Is and 12 Tests over.
The veteran batter holds the record for most runs (7,805) by a woman in the ODIs and is the only female cricketer to rack up more than 7,000 ODI runs. Mithali also has the distinction of being the first woman to smash seven ODI fifties on the trot. She also notched up seven hundreds and 64 half-centuries in her ODI career. In 2019, she also became the first woman to play 200 ODIs.
As a captain, she led India to two World Cup finals in 2005 and 2007 –the only women cricketer to attain this feat. Mithali had hinted at impending retirement after India’s exit from the last 50-over World Cup.
“You’ve not given me even an hour to think about my future, to go through and process what has just happened. When you have a disappointment and in the campaign which ends like this in a World Cup where you’ve really prepared very hard over a year, it takes time to accept and then probably move on from there,” she had said at a post-match presentation after India failed to qualify for the semi-finals.