India’s ODI captain Mithali Raj, who is one of the iconic names of the Indian women’s cricket scene, has decided to call time on her T20I career. The 36-year-old batswoman last played a T20I for India woman in Guwahati against England in March on English team’s tour to India. She had made her debut in the format also against the same team, way back in 2006.
Mithali Raj boasted of a very good record of 2364 runs in 89 T20Is with an average of 37.52 and the highest score of 97* with 17 half-centuries. She also played in the IPL Women’s Challenge series. However, she was criticized for her inability to score at a fast speed which was the need of the hour and though she led the team to many big wins, time and younger players made it hard for her to compete with.
Mithali Raj announced retirement from the T20I format
Raj had recently given an interview to ICC and said that she was taking things one at a time. She was no longer an automatic choice in the playing XI in T20Is and with a T20 World Cup looming in Australia in 2020, she mentioned that she was not thinking of the mega tournament that time. This statement of hers became true, as on Tuesday, September 3, she announced her retirement from the format.
“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 as saying by India Today.
Mithali Raj had been under some stress in the shortest format of the game given the controversy that happened during the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20. She had been reported by the team management for her bad attitude as she was dropped for the all-important semi-final match against England women’s team. She had also accused then-coach Romesh Powar and CoA member Diana Edulji of showing bias in a letter to BCCI. In turn, Powar had accused Raj of threatening to retire from the game if asked to bat down the order.
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