<strong>New Delhi:</strong> Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid rich tributes to former India women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj who announced her retirement from international cricket at the start of this month. <p></p> <p></p>She brought down the curtains on a glittering career since making her debut for India in 1999. Mithali Raj played 12 Tests, 232 ODIS and 89 T20Is for India in her 23-year-old long career. <p></p> <p></p>The former Indian batter is the leading run-getter in the Women's ODIs. She made her debut against Ireland at Milton Keynes and scored more than 7000 runs in the ODIs. Narendra Modi applauded Mithali Raj's contribution to women's cricket in India. <p></p> <p></p>The Prime Minister said that Mithali Raj's retirement has emotionally moved sports lovers. He called her an extraordinary player and an inspirational figure. <p></p> <p></p>"Mithali Raj, one of the most talented cricketers in India has announced her retirement from cricket which has emotionally moved many sports lovers. Mithali has not only been an extraordinary player but has also been an inspiration to many players," Narendra Modi said during Mann Ki Baat. <p></p> <p></p>Mithali Raj had written an emotional letter to announce her retirement from international cricket. She wrote, "Today is the day I retire from all forms of International Cricket. Each time I stepped on the field, I gave my very best with the intent to help India win." <p></p> <p></p>The former Indian cricketer added, "I will always cherish the opportunity given to me to represent the tricolour. I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talented young players and the future of Indian Cricket is bright." <p></p> <p></p>"This journey may have ended but another one beckons as I'd love to stay involved in the game I love and contribute to the growth of Women's Cricket in India and the world over. Special mention to all my fans, thank you for all your love &amp; support," Mithali Raj concluded.