Mithali Raj: The Lady Tendulkar of Indian Women’s Cricket

Mithali Dorai Raj, this name needs no introduction as it is enough to indicate whom we are talking about. The 39-year-old famous Indian woman cricketer holds several records in her name. From being the highest run-scorer in Women’s International Cricket to being nicknamed the “Lady Tendulkar of Indian Women’s Cricket”, Mithali is an inspiration for every girl.

Let us have a look into the career journey of this leading lady of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team:

Personal Life

Raj was born on December 3, 1982, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to Dorai Raj and Leela Raj. She belongs to a Tamilian family, and her father was formerly an Airman in Indian Air Force. At present, she lives in Telangana, Hyderabad. She completed her schooling at Keyes High School in Hyderabad and joined the Kasturba Gandhi Junior College in Secunderabad.

Cricket Journey

Mithali’s cricket journey began at the age of 10. She did her cricket coaching along with her brother during school days. She is a right-handed batting style. In her two-decade-long career, she has scored 699 runs in test matches, 7805 runs in ODIs, and 2364 runs in T20Is.

She has also played domestic cricket before making her place in international cricket. She has been a part of the Air India Women’s, India Blue Women’s, Velocity, and Asia Women XI teams.

After failing to get selected in the final squad of the 1997s Women’s Cricket World Cup, she played her One-Day International (ODI) debut match in 1999 against Ireland. In that match, she scored an unbeaten 114 runs. Then in 2002, she played her first women’s Test Match against England. She played her first-ever T20I against England in 2006. She was appointed as the captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team in 2005. Ever since then, Mithali has broken as well as made several records.

On June 8, 2022, she announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket.

Career Milestones

Mithali has played several roles in her professional career as a player, a captain, and a coach. Here are some of the milestones that she received in her 23 years long cricket journey:

  • She scored a century in her debut match, after which she became the youngest women cricketer to score an ODI century.
  • She is the third youngest women captain in the women’s game.
  • She has played the second most number of innings without a duck.
  • She holds the record for scoring the most runs in ODIs.
  • She has the second-longest career of 19 years in women’s test matches.
  • She also holds the record for most runs in an innings.
  • Her other records include:
    • Youngest Player to score a double hundred
    • Most catches in an Innings
    • Highest Partnership for the 7th wicket
    • The longest career of 22 years in ODIs
    • Most catches as captain
    • Most nineties in a career (5)
    • Most fifties in consecutive innings (7)

Awards and Recognitions

Mihali Raj has won several awards throughout her career. She won the Arjuna Award in 2003. In 2015, she was awarded India’s fourth-highest civilian award- Padma Shri. She won the Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award, Vogue Sportsperson of the Year Award, and Wisden Leading Women Cricketer in the World Award in 2017. She also appeared on BBC’s 100 Women’s list the same year. In 2021, she was awarded the Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour.