One of the greatest careers in cricket, a path-creating one, an inspirational one, came to an end on Wednesday as Mithali Raj bid adieu to international cricket after 23 years in service.
With 10,868 runs, made while representing India in 12 Tests, 232 ODIs, and 89 T20Is, Raj finishes as the leading run-getter in international women’s cricket.
Here are some of the lesser-known facts from Mithali Raj’s professional and personal life:
- As a kid, Mithali wanted to become a Bharatnatyam dancer and had also joined classes for it.
2. She made her ODI debut in 1999, at the age of 16 years and 205 days, and scored a century on debut – she is still the youngest ODI centurion in women’s cricket.
3. At the age of 19, Raj broke Karen Rolton’s record of the highest individual Test score of 209 and made a new record of 214 runs.
4. In 2018, Mithali Raj became the first Indian women’s cricketer to score 2,000 runs in T20Is5. She led India to two ODI World Cup finals – the only Indian, male or female, to do so – in 2005 and 2017, however, ended up on the losing side both times.
6. Mithali Raj is a dedicated book reader; she was even spotted reading a book before going in to bat in a game in 2017.
7. She holds the second-best record for most consecutive innings without a duck with 74 innings after Karen Rolton (104).
9. With 7805 runs, she is the leading run-scorer in women’s ODIs, the most capped player (232) in WODI, and has hit the most fifties (64) in the format.
10. At the age of 21 years and 4 days, she became the youngest captain of the Indian women’s cricket team and seventh overall.
11. Between 2004 and 2008, Raj marched the team in four Asia Cup tournaments and won all of them.
12. She is the first player to score seven consecutive half-centuries in ODIs
13. Raj was not dismissed for a duck for 7 years between 2000 and 2007.
14. Mithali Raj became the first female cricketer to win the Wisden India Cricketer of the Year in 2015.