India’s proud and captain of women’s ODI and test cricket Mithali Raj announced her retirement through a Social media post on Wednesday. Mithali is the highest run-scorer in Women ODIs as of now. After her debut, on June 26, 1999, against Ireland at Milton Keynes, she played for India in 232 One Day Internationals, scoring 7805 runs at a mind blowing average of 50.68. She played 12 Tests and 89 T20Is for the country and scored 699 and 2364 runs respectively.
Mithali Raj posted a note on her official social media account. She shared her emotions and love for her country and how she enjoyed all these years as a Player of Indian Women’s cricket team. The Indian skipper thanked the BCCI for the support she received as a player all these years.
She wrote,”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 & enjoyable years of my life.
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 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.”
Although it is not sure as to why she retired, two possible reasons are being speculated.
Firstly, the captaincy controversy between her and Harmanpreet Kaur that took place almost a year ago had already loosened her spot in the team a lot. Although Mithali Raj proved her mettle with some spectacular performances after that, it was only a matter of time before she had to retire due to this tremendous pressure.
Secondly, some are also saying that Mithali Raj retired because she probably wants to pursue a career in another field now. We already know that a biopic based on her life is set to be released soon.
However, these are just speculations and we have to keep in mind that Mithali Raj is over 39 years old now and thus she might have also retired simply because of her age