Mithali Raj, one of the greatest batters to have played the game, announced her retirement from international cricket earlier this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid rich tributes to the legendary player during Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.
Mithali, who led India across formats during her storied career, retired as the highest run-scorer in Women ODIs. She made her India debut on June 26, 1999, against Ireland at Milton Keynes, and went on to play in 232 ODIs, scoring 7805 runs at a stunning average of 50.68.
Also Read: ‘I Slowly Started to Detach Myself’ – Mithali Raj on Retirement
She also played 12 Tests and 89 T20Is, scoring 699 and 2364 runs respectively.
PM Modi said Mithali’s retirement has emotionally moved sports lovers as he called her an ‘extraordinary player’ and an inspirational figure.
“Mithali Raj, one of the most talented cricketers in India has announced her retirement from cricket which has emotionally moved many sports lovers. Mithali has not only been an extraordinary player but has also been an inspiration to many players: PM Modi said during Mann Ki Baat.
In an emotional note she shared via her social media handles, the 39-year-old Mithalo said ‘now is the perfect time’ to draw curtains on her playing career.
Also Read: Mithali Raj, the G.O.A.T, Who Put Indian Women’s Cricket on the World Map
“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 bright,” wrote Raj.
Mithali continues to be India’s sole double-centurion in women’s Test having scored 214 against England in 2002.
“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.
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