"For All The Young Girls...": Harmanpreet Kaur, New India Captain, and the BCCI Pay Moving Tribute to Mithali Raj After Her Retirement

  • June 9, 2022, 12:55 p.m.

A glorious career came to an end on Wednesday as Mithali Raj bid adieu to international cricket. For over two decades, Mithali gave Indian cricket many memorable moments. The legendary batter conquered several peaks during her long stint. She became the leading run-getter in women's international cricket in July 2021. She went past England's Charlotte Edwards (10,273 runs). Edwards and Raj remain the only two female cricketers to have breached the 10,000 run mark. The 39-year-old Mithali is also the leading run-scorer in women's ODIs with a tally of 7805 runs in 232 matches. Her ODI career average stands at 50.68.

After she announced her retirement, the BCCI named Harmanpreet Kaur as the new India women's ODI captain for the upcoming Sri Lanka series. Harmanpreet, herself a great batter, paid a moving tribute to Mithali on how the latter impacted women's cricket. "Cricket is a dream and when I started off my career I had no idea that women's cricket existed, but the only name ever mentioned or heard was yours @M_Raj03 Di. You sowed the seed for all the young girls to take up this sport and dream big. "Wish you the best in life," Harmanpreet wrote.

Cricket is a dream and when I started off my career I had no idea that women's cricket existed, but the only name ever mentioned or heard was yours @M_Raj03 Di. You sowed the seed for all the young girls to take up this sport and dream big. I wish you the best in life. 

The BCCI also posted a video displaying Mithali's time with the Indian cricket team.

Mithali had a defence background, with her father serving in the Indian Air Force, and probably that was one of the reasons behind the unwavering discipline in her batting.

She was passionate about Bharatnatyam, but since she could not pursue that dance form further, she brought that nimble footwork into her game. In domestic cricket, she played briefly for Andhra Pradesh before joining Air India and Railways thereafter.

Former India captain Diana Edulji was at the fag end of her career when she got Mithali into the Railways team. Not only did she play for the strongest team on the domestic circuit, she also landed a proper job as a teenager.

Another former India captain, Anjum Chopra, who was a part of the Indian team alongside Mithali on the memorable tour of England in 1999, said there was little doubt about the talent of the 16-year-old even though she did not have the best of times on her maiden trip to the UK.

"She did not do well against England in the two ODIs, but in the nets, she was very pleasing to the eye." When we came back, she did well. We had also heard about her performances on the domestic tour, so we all knew about her rare talent. And by the time I stopped playing the game in 2012, Mithali had already become a star. Then the watershed moment came in 2017 (when India reached the ODI World Cup final under Mithali's captaincy), which helped our sport's popularity and Mithali became an even bigger star, "said Chopra.

Author : Rajdhani Delhi Representative

Rajdhani delhi representative

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