Mithali Raj has owned many records in the One-Day Internationals in Women’s cricket over the past two decades. She holds the record for scoring most runs, most fifties, most appearances and most matches as skipper in Women’s ODIs. On Wednesday, Mithali completed 20 years in the ODI format as she made her debut in 1999 at the age of 16 years only.
She led India against South Africa Women in Vadodara during the first of the 3-match ODI series; India Women’s 1st ODI appearance since February this year. India took 1-0 lead with an 8-wicket win by chasing down the target of 165 with 50 balls to spare.
Debutant Priya Punia starred with a 75* while another opener Jemimah Rodrigues scored 55. Mithali Raj remained unbeaten scoring 11 runs; the 33rd time she was unbeaten in a successful ODI chase. These are easily the most instances for any player in Women’s cricket. Only MS Dhoni (47) stayed not out on more times in successful chases across Men/Women ODIs while Jonty Rhodes also was at the crease on 33 instances.
Mithali Raj’s ODI career is now spanned 20 years and 105 days. She is the first woman with an ODI career of 20+ years and only the 4th across Men’s and Women’s cricket to have such a long career. Prior to Mithali, the longest ODI career in Women’s cricket was held by Ireland’s Clare Shillington. She featured in 90 ODIs between August 1997 and February 2017 for 19 years and 195 days. England’s Janette Brittin is the other woman to have an ODI career as long as 19 years.
The longest ODI career across both Men’s and Women’s cricket is of Sachin Tendulkar. The former Indian cricketer represented the team in a grand total of 463 matches between 1989 December and March 2012. Sanath Jayasuriya and Javed Miandad are the other two players with an ODI career of 20+ years. The 2nd longest active ODI career is of Chris Gayle whose career is of 19 years and 337 days. The veteran player hasn’t confirmed his retirement yet but is unlikely to play one more ODI from here on.
Longest One-Day International careers: (Men/Women)
(Stats as on October 9, 2019)
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