One of the greatest – if not the greatest – women cricketers ever, Mithali Raj, announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket on Wednesday, bringing to an illustrious career spanning more than two decades. She made her international debut as a 16-year-old in 1999 and last played for India in the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in March 2022.
Raj made the announcement with a social media post stating the last 23 years for her has been the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable. “Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket,” read the statement. She wrote this is perfect to step away as she leaves Indian cricket in capable hands and went on to thank the BCCI and Secretary Jay Shah for all the support she received – first as a player and then as the Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team.
READ THE FULL TEXT OF MITHALI RAJ’s STATEMENT
I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues as representing your country is the highest honour. The journey was full of highs and some lows. Each event taught me something unique and last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable years of my life.
Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end.
Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket.
Each time I stepped on the field, I gave my very best with the intent to help India win. I will always cherish the opportunity given to me to represent the tricolor.
I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talent young players and the future of India cricket is bright.
I’d like to thank the BCCI and Shri Jay Shah Sir (Honorary Secretary, BCCI) for all the support I have received – first as a player and then as the Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team.
It was an honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person and hopefully helped shape Indian Women’s Cricket as well.
This journey may have ended but another one beckons as I’d love to stay involved in the game I love and contribute to the growth of Women’s Cricket in India and world over.
Special mention to all my fans, thank you for all your love and support