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Mithali Raj

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mithali Dorai Raj (born 3 December 1982) is an Indian cricketer and a former captain of the India women's national cricket team from 2004 to 2022.[2][3] Mithali is the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket and is considered one of the greatest cricketers of all time.[4]

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj.png
Mithali in 2018
Personal information
Full nameMithali Dorai Raj
Born (1982-12-03) 3 December 1982 (age 39)[1]
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
BattingRight-handed
BowlingRight-arm leg break
RoleTop-order batter
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 56)14 January 2002 v England
Last Test30 September 2021 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 56)26 June 1999 v Ireland
Last ODI27 March 2022 v South Africa
ODI shirt no.03
T20I debut (cap 9)5 August 2006 v England
Last T20I9 March 2019 v England
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1996–1999Andhra
1999–2000Air India
2000–presentRailways
2018Supernovas
2019–2022Velocity
Career statistics
CompetitionWTestWODIWT20I
Matches1223289
Runs scored6997,8052,364
Batting average43.6850.6837.52
100s/50s1/47/640/17
Top score214125*97*
Balls bowled721716
Wickets080
Bowling average11.37
5 wickets in innings0
10 wickets in match0
Best bowling3/4
Catches/stumpings12/–58/-19/–
Source: CricInfo, 27 March 2022

Mithali holds numerous records in international cricket. She is the only female cricketer to surpass the 7,000-run mark in Women's One Day International matches.[5][6] She is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs.[7] She also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs.[8] In June 2018, during the 2018 Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup, she became the first player from India, male or female, to score 2000 runs in T20Is, and also became the first woman cricketer to reach 2000 WT20I runs.[9][10][11]

In 2005, Mithali became the permanent captain of India. She is the only female player to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017.[12][13] On 1 February 2019, during India's series against New Zealand Women, Mithali became the first woman to play in 200 ODI matches.[14] In September 2019, she announced her retirement from T20Is to focus on ODI cricket.[15] In 2019, she became the first woman to complete 20 years in international cricket.[16]

Mithali is the recipient of several national and international awards, including the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2017, Arjuna Award in 2003, the Padma Shri in 2015, and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2021.

In July 2021, Mithali became the leading run-scorer in women's international cricket,[17] surpassing Charlotte Edwards' previous record of 10,273 runs.[18] On 8 June 2022, Mithali announced her retirement from all formats of international cricket.[19]

Early life

Mithali Raj was born on 3 December 1982 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Her father, Dorai Raj, is a Tamilian, who was an Airman (Warrant Officer) in the Indian Air Force. Her mother is Leela Raj. Mithali started to play cricket at the age of 10. She lives in Hyderabad, Telangana.[20][21] She attended Keyes High School for Girls in Hyderabad. She attended Kasturba Gandhi Junior College for Women in Secunderabad for her intermediate studies.[22] She started receiving cricket coaching in her school days along with her elder brother.[23][24]

Domestic career

Playing for Railways in the domestic competition, Mithali began by playing with stars like Purnima Rau, Anjum Chopra and Anju Jain for Air India.[25] She has played for the Supernovas and Velocity in the Women's T20 Challenge.[26]

International career

Mithali has played all three cricket formats for India: Test, One Day and T20. [27] She was named among the probables in the 1997 Women's Cricket World Cup when she was just 14, but couldn't make it to the final squad.[28] She made her One Day International debut in 1999 against Ireland at Milton Keynes and scored an unbeaten 114 runs. She made her Test debut in the 2001–02 season against South Africa at Lucknow. On 17 August 2002, at the age of 19, in her third Test, she broke Karen Rolton's record of world's highest individual Test score of 209*, scoring a new high of 214[29] against England in the second and final Test at County Ground, Taunton.[30] The record has since been surpassed by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who scored 242 against West Indies in March 2004.[31]

Mithali was ill with typhoid during the CricInfo Women's World Cup in 2002, seriously hampering the performance of India.

However, she led India to their first finals in 2005 Women's Cricket World Cup, in South Africa, where they lost to Australia.[32]

In August 2006, she led the side to their first ever Test and Series victory in England and wrapped up the year winning the Asia Cup – the second time in 12 months – without dropping a single game.[33]

She is a part-time leg-break bowler as well. She is a recipient of the Arjuna award for 2003. She currently tops the batting table with 703 ratings. Her composure when at the crease and ability to score briskly make her a dangerous cricketer. In addition to her ability with the bat, Mithali rolls her arm over bowling leg-spinners and providing variety to the attack.[citation needed]

At the 2013 Women's World Cup, Mithali was the No. 1 Cricketer in the ODI chart among women. She scored 100s: 1 and 50s: 4 in Test cricket, 100s: 5 and 50s: 50 with best bowling of 3/4 in ODIs and 50s: 10 in T20s.[34]

In February 2017, she became the second player to score 5,500 runs in WODIs.[7]Mithali is the first player to captain most matches for India in ODI and T20I.[35][36]

In July 2017, she became the first player to score 6,000 runs in WODIs. She led the Indian team to the final of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup where the team lost to England by nine runs.[37][38][39]

In December 2017, she was named as one of the players in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year.[40][41]

In October 2018, she was named to India's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.[42][43]

In September 2019, Mithali retired from T20I Cricket. She dreams of bringing the World Cup to her country by 2021. "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," she said in a BCCI press statement.[44][45]

In November 2020, Mithali was nominated for the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade, and the award for women's ODI cricketer of the decade.[46][47]

In May 2021, she was named captain of India's Test squad for their one-off match against the England women's cricket team.[48] In January 2022, she was named captain of India's team for the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.[49]

On 8 June 2022, Mithali announced her retirement from all formats of International cricket.[50]

Coaching career

Mithali was appointed batting consultant for India women's national cricket team, and had played as a player-coach.[citation needed]

Records

 
Mithali Raj at the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup
  • Mithali is nicknamed "Lady Tendulkar of Indian Women's cricket", as she is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all formats, including Tests, ODIs and T20Is.[51]
  • During the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, Mithali scored her seventh consecutive half-century and made a record for most consecutive fifties by a player.[52][53]
  • Mithali is the 1st Indian and 5th woman cricketer overall to score over 1,000 World Cup runs.[54]
  • She holds the record for playing the most consecutive Women's One Day Internationals for a team (109).[55]

Mithali Raj was involved in controversy with cricket management due to her attitude towards the game during the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20.[56] She accused the coach Ramesh Powar and BCCI COA member Diana Edulji in a letter to the BCCI of bias, and of humiliating her by not including her in the T20 world cup semifinals.[57] Powar, in turn, criticized Mithali for threatening to retire from cricket when asked to play down the batting order.[58] He also accused Mithali of 'blackmailing and pressuring coaches' apart from causing division in the team during the recently concluded World T20. He added, "despite being a senior player in the team she puts in minimum inputs in team meetings. She could not understand and adapt to the team plan. She ignored her role and batted for own milestones. Lack of keeping the momentum going which was putting extra pressure on other batters."[59] Mithali's 50 against Ireland in the same tournament in which she ended up playing 25 dot balls was also criticized by coach Powar.[60]

Her relationship with the T20 team's captain Harmanpreet Kaur is also said to be strained.[61] However, after reappointment of Ramesh Powar as Head Coach of the Indian women's cricket team in May 2021,[62] the two have reconciled. Mithali and Harmanpreet also confirmed in various interviews that there is no bad blood between them.[citation needed]

Awards

 
President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Shri Award to Mithali Raj, New Delhi
YearAwardNotes
2003Arjuna Award[63]
2015Padma ShriIndia's fourth highest civilian award[64]
2017Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award.!At the Radiant Wellness Conclave, Chennai[65]
2017Vogue Sportsperson of the YearAt Vogue's 10th anniversary[66]
2017BBC 100 Women[67]
2017Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World
2021Khel Ratna Award[68]Highest sporting honour of India

Outside cricket

Personal life and interests

She is a Bharatanatyam dancer.[69]

In popular culture

After the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures acquired the rights to make a feature film on Mithali's life. She said, "Hoping that this movie inspires more people, especially young girls to take up sports as a career."[70]

Shooting was scheduled to start in 2019. Mithali said "I think Priyanka Chopra will be a great choice (to play me in the biopic). Our personalities match a lot. I am not a movie buff, so I'd love the experts to do their job."[71] However, finally it was decided that Taapsee Pannu would play the role of Mithali Raj in the biopic named Shabaash Mithu. It was to be directed by Rahul Dholakia in 2020; however, as filming was delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19, in June 2021, Srijit Mukherji replaced him as director.[72][73] The film was released on 15 July 2022.[74] The movie was a financial disaster, earning only rupees 2.88 crore from a budget of 30.0 crore.[75][76]

References

Citations

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  2. ^ Mithali Raj ESPN Cricinfo
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  5. ^ "Record-setting Raj top of the women's charts". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
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  9. ^ "Mithali Raj edges Virat Kohli, becomes first India cricketer to score 2000 T20I runs". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  10. ^ NDTVSports.com. "Women's Asia Cup: Mithali Raj Becomes First Woman To Reach 2000 T20I Runs – NDTV Sports". NDTVSports.com. Archived from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
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  72. ^ "Mithali Raj's biopic 'Shabaash Mithu' confirmed; Taapsee Pannu 'honoured' to portray cricketer's story". 3 December 2019.
  73. ^ "Just in! Director Srijit Mukherji has replaced Rahul Dholakia as the director of Taapsee Pannu-starrer 'Shabaash Mithu'". The Times of India. 22 June 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
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  76. ^ "Shabaash Mithu box office collection Day 7: Taapsee Pannu's film performs poorly". India Today. Retrieved 9 August 2022.

Further reading

External links

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