Mithali Raj Retires: A Long & Arduous Journey Many Would Love To Emulate, Few Will Succeed | Fitting Tribute
Mithali Raj Retires - A Long & Arduous Journey Many Would Love To Emulate, Few Will Succeed (Twitter)

Mithali Raj has seen it all. From the times when women’s cricket was tolerated with little or no humour till the day when the Women’s Indian Premier League may soon become a reality, Mithali has been a witness to all the lows and then the highs which have now made some of the current women stars household names, at least among the cricket-following people of India. The journey was a long and arduous one, and the success of Indian women’s cricket and one of its senior-most doyens is almost synonymous. From the anonymity of just being a player to captaining India and seeing unprecedented success, Mithali Raj has seen it all.

As she announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, Mithali Raj brought the curtain down on a career which many cricketers would love to emulate and few will succeed.

Beginning in 1999 in India colours, the batter has seen everything that has come India’s way, a testament to her mental and physical fitness and even as the challenge of younger, fitter players grew, Mithali was able to hold her own till now.

A total of 12 Test matches, 232 women’s One-day Internationals and 89 T20 Internationals have seen Mithali meet and beat most odds, as batter and captain.

A total of 10868 international runs speak to her achievements and longevity.

The records came thick and fast. Mithali is the first, and so far, only woman to score over 7000 runs in Women’s ODIs. She led India to two ICC ODI World Cup finals, in 2005 and 2017.

The highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket, the distinction of scoring seven consecutive WODI half-centuries, the highest, which add to the total of 64 fifties in the format, the highest for women’s cricket.

Even as the competition grew, with new players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemima Rodrigues and the others beginning to claim their places in the now-known Indian contingent, Mithali still was right up there, finishing with averages of 43.68, 50.68 and 37.52 in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively. No mean feat.

Not all of it was always bouquets. With fame comes attention and the women’s team, finalists in the ODI World Cup in 2017, fell from grace as they ended with an exit from the group stage in the 2022 edition.

The team was criticised, and Mithali too had some criticism, especially about her strike rate.

Nevertheless, overall, it has been quite a career for Mithali Raj. She has done a lot for the sport and will be acknowledged so as she focusses on other pursuits in life.

(This article was first published on