Mithali Raj steps down from International crickettext_fields
New Delhi: Veteran cricketer and former India women's team captain Mithali Raj has announced on Wednesday, her decision to step down from all forms of international cricket.
A statement released by Mithali Raj on social media said, "Thank you for all your love & support over the years! I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support."
"I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues as representing your country is the highest honour. The journey was full of highs and some lows. Each event taught me something unique and the last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable years of my life," said Mithali.
"Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end. Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket," she added.
It will mark the end of a brilliant career since her debut for India in 1999. In her 23-year career, Mithali has played 12 Tests, 232 ODIs and 89 T20Is for India.
Mithali, a right-handed batter, will always be remembered for her astounding run-scoring achievements, including 7,805 runs in ODIs so far, 2,000 more than her closest rival, former England captain Charlotte Edward. They scored. She has scored seven centuries and a record 64 fifties in her ODI career.
"Each time I stepped on the girls, I gave my very best with the intent to help India win. I will always cherish the opportunity given to me to represent the tricolour," she said.
"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 very bright," she added.
Mithali has scored 699 runs in 12 Tests, including one century and four fifties. In T20I, Raj scored 2364 runs at an average of 37.52 with 17 half-centuries and a high score of 97 not out.
"I'd like to thank the BCCI & Shri Jay Shah Sir (Honorary Secretary, BCCI) for all the support I have received – first as a player and then as the Captain of the Indian Women's Cricket Team.
"It was an honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person & hopefully helped shape Indian Women's Cricket as well," she said.
"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 world over.
"Special mention to all my fans. thank you for all your love & support," she said.