Is India's Mithali Raj eyeing a comeback to international cricket?
Mithali Raj is one of the greatest to have graced women's cricket. The former India skipper called time on her international career last month via a social media post. She captained India Women in the 2022 ICC Women's World Cup. However, in a recent statement, the veteran batter hinted at making a comeback at the mega stage. Here are further details.
"I'm keeping that option open. I've not yet decided. There are a few more months to go before the women's IPL happens. It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women's IPL," Mithali said on ICC's 100% Cricket podcast.
After four successful editions of the Women's T20 Challenge, the BCCI gave a nod to a six-team Women's IPL slated to take place next year. BCCI narrowed down to two windows: April-March and September-October. However, there's a good possibility for the BCCI to opt the former, given there's a jam-packed schedule later on, including the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
In 232 ODI matches, Mithali scored 7,805 runs at an average of 50.68. She hammered seven centuries and 64 fifties. Mithali claimed 64 catches. In 12 Tests, Mithali scored 699 runs at 43.68. She managed one century and four fifties. In 89 T20Is, Mithali managed 2,364 runs at 37.52. She slammed 17 half-centuries with the best score of 97*.
Mithali is the highest scorer in women's ODI cricket to date. In fact, no other batter has even gotten past 6,000 ODI runs. The next best tally in terms of run scorers is former England woman cricketer CM Edwards, who managed 5,992 runs at 38.16. West Indies' Stafanie Taylor (5,992) and New Zealand's Suzie Bates (5,298) are the others with 5,000-plus ODI runs.
In the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, Mithali has amassed 1,321 runs at 47.17. She is the second-highest scorer in the Women's World Cup after former NZ star DA Hockley, who managed 1,501 runs. Mithali is one of the six cricketers to amass 1,100-plus runs in World Cup history. Among the current lot, Meg Lanning has 948 runs at 52.66.
At 19 years and 254 days, Mithali is still the youngest double-centurion in Test cricket (women's). She holds the record for the highest seventh-wicket stand in Test cricket (157). She has the record for the longest career in women's ODIs (22y 274d).
Mithali is also the highest scorer for India in ICC Women's T20 World Cup. Mithali, who last featured at the 2018 ICC Women's World T20, managed 726 runs in total at 40.33. She is overall the sixth-highest scorer.
In March 2021, Mithali became the first Indian woman to complete 10,000 runs in international cricket. She is the only player to have scored seven fifties in consecutive ODI innings. Her 214 against England (2002) is the highest score by a number four batter in Test cricket. Mithali remains the fastest Indian woman to 2,000 runs in T20Is (70 innings).