mithali raj
Mithali Raj (Getty Images)

Mithali Raj definitely didn’t imagine she will become the first women cricketer to feature in 200 ODIs when she began her international career.

On Friday, in the third ODI against New Zealand, Mithali achieved the milestone and is into the 20th year of international cricket, the most after Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Javed Miandad in terms of longevity.

Mithali Raj

 

“Well, when I started I definitely didn’t think I’d come so far,” Mithali told reports on Friday after India lost the third ODI of the three-match series against New Zealand in Hamilton. “[My] main aim was to represent the country and wear the India colours. And then be one of the core members of the team. Never did I think that I’d play for so long,”

Mithali also holds the record for the most runs in women’s ODIs with 6622 runs alongside seven centuries and 52 half-centuries so far.

Speaking about how she managed to have such a long and fruitful career, the 36-year-old said, “When you have a long career, there are different elements which comes into your reasoning and factors. One thing has always been to constantly thrive and constantly work on my game to suit different conditions and different areas of my game. And trying to keep up with the international standard is very important.”

She continued, “I’ve seen joys, I’ve seen highs and lows. When you have a long career it is part of it and I’m grateful to all the coaches who have worked on my game, to my parents, to my mentors and of course to BCCI and to WCI (Women’s Cricket Association of India) also because I made my debut under that association. I’m just glad that people who have made a difference in my career, I’m very grateful to them.”