The International Cricket Council (ICC) has congratulated India legend Mithali Raj for an outstanding 23-year international career during which she broke several records.
The 39-year-old middle-order batter, who announced her retirement from all international cricket on Wednesday, led India in this year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. She had retired from T20Is in September 2019. Having debuted at the age of 16 in 1999, Raj has also had the longest international career in women’s cricket. It spanned for over 23 years.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said Raj is a hero for cricketers around the world and hoped she would continue to contribute to the game in the years to come.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice: “Mithali is one of the all-time greats of the game. Over the past 23 years, many young girls and boys will have been inspired to take up the sport after watching her. “ “Mithali has played a huge role in raising the profile of women’s cricket during a crucial period of its growth and I sincerely hope she will stay involved with the game in the coming years. On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate her for a fantastic career.”
She scored a century on ODI debut in 1999. At 16 years and 205 days, she became the youngest centurion in women’s internationals. The record was only broken 22 years later in 2021, when Ireland’s Amy Hunter achieved that feat on her 16th birthday. Raj is one of only two players to have played more than 200 ODIs (the other being longtime teammate Jhulan Goswami). Raj has played the most ODIs – 232.
Raj, who led India to the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cups in 2005 and 2017, is the only woman, and only the third cricketer ever, to appear at six ICC (50-over) Cricket World Cups. Raj is the most capped woman player in ODIs and holds the record for most runs in the format, having aggregated 7,805 runs in 232 matches with seven centuries. In Tests, she has scored 699 runs in 12 matches with one century while in T20Is, she has 2,364 runs from 89 matches with 17 half-centuries.
She is the only Indian woman to score a double century in Tests. Her score of 214 (v England in 2002) is the second-highest individual score in women’s Tests. Raj has 89 wins out of 155 as captain – the most by any player in women’s ODIs. Her 155 matches as captain is also the highest in women’s ODIs.