New Delhi: Former India limited-overs skipper Mithali Raj on Tuesday called time on her illustrious T20 International career to focus on one-day cricket, keeping the 2021 50-over World Cup in mind. The 36-year-old senior opener has captained the country in 32 T20Is, including the three women’s WT20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
“After representing India in T20 internationals since 2006, I wish to retire from T20Is to focus my energies on readying myself for the 2021 One Day World Cup,” said Mithali, who had captained Indian women’s first-ever T20I played in Derby back in 2006.
Mithali ended her T20I career as India’s top-scorer in the format with 2364 runs from 89 matches at an average of 37.5 and the highest score of 97 not out. She made her T20I debut in 1999 and played her last match in March against England in Guwahati.
Mithali is also the first Indian woman to reach the landmark of 2000 T20I runs.”It remains my dream to win a World Cup for my country and I want to give it my best. I thank the BCCI for their continuous support and wish the Indian T20 team good luck as they prepare for the home series against South Africa Women,” she said in a BCCI press release. Mithali has also played in 203 ODIs and scored 6720 runs at an average of 51.29 with seven hundred. She has also played in 10 Tests with 663 runs and one hundred.
Mithali Dorai Raj (born 3 December 1982) is an Indian cricketer and the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team in Tests and ODI. Often regarded as one of the greatest batswomen to have ever played the game, she is the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in WODIs.
Raj is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs. Raj also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs. In June 2018 during the 2018 Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup, she became the first player from India (either male or female) to score 2000 runs in T20Is, and also became the first woman cricketer to reach 2002 WT20I runs.
Raj is the only player (male or female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017. On 1 February 2019, during India’s series against New Zealand Women, Raj became the first woman to play in 200 ODI matches.
In September 2019, she announced her retirement from T20Is to focus on ODI cricket.
With inputs from Wikipedia