'World Cup 2022 will be my swansong', says Mithali Raj
Indian Women's ODI captain Mithali Raj, on Saturday, indicated that she will call time on her international career after the 2022 50-over World Cup in New Zealand. Mithali, whose career has spanned over two decades, remains one of the greatest woman cricketers. The 38-year-old also asserted that a core team is being built for the World Cup. Here is more.
Here is what Mithali said
"It's been 21 years of international cricket and I know 2022 is my swansong, The World Cup," Mithali said during the virtual launch of the book '1971: The Beginning of India's Cricketing Greatness', published by Harper Collins and co-authored by Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya. "The last year is equal to the 20 years of my international cricket," she added.
Only Indian batswoman with 10,000 international runs
In March, Mithali became the first Indian batswoman to complete 10,000 runs in international cricket. Overall, she became only the second batter in women's cricket to have accomplished the milestone. She attained the historic feat in the third ODI against South Africa Women. Mithali is already the leading run-scorer in women's ODIs by a huge margin.
Mithali has scaled new heights in ODI cricket
Mithali made her ODI debut on June 26, 1999 against Ireland Women. And she crossed the 7,000-run mark in her 192nd innings. The Indian skipper now has 7,098 runs from 214 ODIs at a formidable average of 51.06. It is interesting to note that Mithali has 4,242 more runs than the next-best Indian, Anjum Chopra (2,856) (Women's ODIs).
Youngest woman cricketer to score an ODI hundred
Till date, Mithali remains the youngest woman cricketer (16 years and 205 days) to score an ODI hundred. Interestingly, she did so in her debut ODI against Ireland Women (1999). She is followed by Laura Wolvaardt (17y, 105d) on this list.
Mithali aims to build a core for WC
The impending Women's World Cup is scheduled to take place in 2022 in New Zealand. In 2017, India Women fell short by nine runs (vs England, final) to win their maiden World Cup. "Yeah, I am very optimistic looking at the girls. We definitely need to look at a few players and prepare them for New Zealand," said Mithali.