Mithali Raj, the leading run-scorer of India in the shortest format of the game, has announced her retirement from T20 Internationals. A press release from BCCI confirmed the news on Tuesday, September 3. She led India in 32 T20Is, including three ICC T20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
In 89 matches, she has amassed more than 2,000 runs, including 17 fifties with the highest score of 97*. She was the first Indian player to reach the 2,000 run mark both in men and women. Mithali Raj led India in their first-ever T20 International match in Derby in 2006. She has played her last T20I game against England on March 9, 2019, and remained unbeaten at 30 off 32 balls.
Although there was a tiff going around since the last ICC T20 World Cup where many eyebrows were raised when team management decided to sit her out in the crucial semi-final. India lost the game and the differences between the coach, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj came in the limelight.
The controversy that came under the scanner, led to a change in the team – the Head Coach. However, a week ago she made herself available for the upcoming series against South Africa.
Currently, she is looking forward to concentrating in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2021. The ODI captain of India, Mithali Raj is the highest run-getter in the Women’s Cricket and the only player to reach the 6,000 ODI runs so far. However, she thanked BCCI for the help and wish the team all the good luck for the upcoming series.
“After representing India in T20 internationals since 2006, I wish to retire from T20Is to focus my energies on readying myself for the 2021 One Day World Cup. It remains my dream to win a World Cup for my country and I want to give it my best. I thank the BCCI for their continuous support and wish the Indian T20 team good luck as they prepare for the home series against South Africa Women,” Mithali Raj was quoted saying in a press release issued by BCCI.