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Mithali Raj announces retirement from all formats of international cricket

Indian captain Mithali Raj has announced her retirement from all formats of international cricket on Wednesday (June 8). In a message posted on her social media handle, Mithali wrote, “Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket.”

The 39-year-old Indian Test and ODI skipper walks away from the game after making her international debut in 1999 with 23 years of cricket. Mithali turned out in 232 ODIs, 89 T20s and 12 Tests over her career.

She scored 7805 ODI runs with 7 centuries and 64 fifties, 2,364 T20 runs with 17 fifties and 699 Test runs in her international career. “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 talented young players and the future of Indian cricket is bright,” Mithali said in the statement.

Mithali made her ODI debut as a 16-year-old back in 1999 against Ireland in Milton Keynes, UK. She led India to two 50-over World Cup finals as well in her illustrious career.

She is the only female cricketer to surpass the 7,000 run mark in One Day International matches. Mithali was the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs as well. She also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs.

In 2005, she became the captain of the Indian side. Mithali is the only player (female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017. On February 1, 2019, during India’s series against New Zealand Women, Mithali became the first woman to play in 200 ODI matches.

“It was an honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person & 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,” Mithali wrote in the statement.

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