Mithali Raj: Indian cricket’s’sleepy girl’ who forever changed the game


Mithali Raj, the legendary Indian batsman, announced her retirement Wednesday. It not only ended one of the most illustrious careers in Indian cricket but also one the most influential periods in the sport’s history.

Must Read:

Raj, who was a 23-year-old Indian cricketer, represented India 333 times in all formats. He also set a world record with 10,868 runs.

Her legacy goes beyond numbers. She was the first woman to win in a predominantly male sports, and she inspired girls all over the country to pursue their dreams.

As she announced her retirement, Raj, 39, wrote that she set out as a young girl to wear the India Blues because representing your country was the highest honor.

Internationals: India’s great Raj retires
“The journey was filled with highs and lows. Every event taught me something new, and the past 23 years have been some of the most rewarding, challenging and enjoyable years in my life.

Her longevity has been built on discipline. It is rather strange to find out that Raj was introduced because she was too lazy to practice the sport.

Dorai Raj, a member of the Indian Air Force, made his daughter go with him to the John’s Cricket Academy in Secunderabad. This was to make sure that she wouldn’t fall into the trap of staying up late.

Also Read:

Raj would sometimes pick up a bat to start playing with the ball while doing homework.

Jyothi Prasad a coach at the Academy was impressed by her technique, and referred Sampath Kumar to her.

Kumar’s positive assessment, who had coached two Secunderabad women’s teams, set the wheels in motion. Raj began a journey that her parents had chosen for her, despite her passion being Indian classical dance.

She began her cricket training at four in the morning, and it could often take six hours. Kumar, a batting fanatic, would take Raj to practice her batting in narrow corridors at school and give her a stump so she could make sure she was hitting the ball.

In September 2016, she told Cricket Monthly that her grandfather used to hit her with a stick when the ball touched the wall. She couldn’t attend family functions, and her grandparents discouraged her from pursuing the “boys’ game.”

Most Popular:

Raj is now the leading female run-scorer

These hours of intense, focused training were the foundation for one of the most technically skilled batters India has ever seen. Raj has scored runs with her ‘correct’ technique.

Raj, a special talent, was quickly promoted up the ranks. At the tender age of 13, she was selected to play for Andhra Pradesh. She won her first India cap in 1999 at 16 years old. Raj announced her arrival at India with an unbeaten score of 114 against Ireland during her debut in ODI for India at Milton Keynes, England.

With a record 7,805 runs and an average of 50.68, the Indian became the most prolific ODI scorer. Raj was also awarded the captaincy in 2005. Raj is the lynchpin in Indian batting. She led India to their first ever World Cup final later that year.

Raj’s accomplishments are even more remarkable when you consider that women’s cricket was an amateur sport at the time she made her debut.

While men’s cricket enjoyed fame and wealth, women’s cricket was left in obscurity and neglect. India’s female cricketers didn’t have the opportunity to access facilities, coaching structures or proper domestic structure. The players would need to move straight from the pitch to international wickets.

Raj was at the forefront of Indian female cricketers’ battle against the system, fighting better-funded and better-trained opponents.

Raj has only played 12 Test matches during her 23-year-long career. To help India beat England in Taunton in 2002, she scored 214. She played five Test matches the next four years and none the following eight.

Never Miss:

The sport has made significant progress during her tenure. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (the richest cricket federation in all of the world) brought women’s cricket under their banner in 2005. Female cricketers weren’t granted central contracts until 2016.