India veteran Mitali Raj on Wednesday announced her decision to retire from all forms of international cricket in a message on Twitter.
Raj, the top-order batter, wrote: “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.”
Though she didn’t give any concrete indicators on what her future plans were, she did say that she would stay connected with the game. “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 tricolour,” she wrote. “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 is the all-time leading run-scorer in women’s one-day internationals and one of the most recognised figures in the Indian sport. She last led Team India against the Proteas in the 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup in March when her side failed to reach the semi-finals. Overall, Mithali led India to two 50-over World Cup finals and finished her illustrative career with 7805 runs, including seven centuries in 232 ODI matches.
Here’s how cricket fraternity bid farewell to the newly retired Mithali Raj:
An icon and true inspiration to so Many @M_Raj03 , congratulations for an illustrious career and for your contribution to Indian cricket.Whatever comes next for you, may it bring you the same joy and fulfillment.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) June 8, 2022
Even though you know this day is coming, you can’t help but feel a little sad 😔. An amazing player that put cricket on the map especially in 🇮🇳 Loved playing against you & enjoyed watching you adapt your game to keep up with all these youngsters. Enjoy the next phase Mithali xx https://t.co/QIK9nE1Vdo
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) June 8, 2022
— Charlotte Edwards (@C_Edwards23) June 8, 2022
Cricket is a dream and when I started off my career I had no idea that women’s cricket existed but the only name ever told or heard was yours @M_Raj03 Di. You sewed the seed for all the young girls to take up this sport and dream big. Wish you the best in life. pic.twitter.com/pWZ9UHcKN3
— Harmanpreet Kaur (@ImHarmanpreet) June 8, 2022
Happy retirement legend. You have set an example for women not only in our country but around the world. Best wishes for your 2nd innings! https://t.co/D8SZgwCYxq
— Abhinav Mukund (@mukundabhinav) June 8, 2022
— Iram Javed (@iramkhan210) June 8, 2022
Congratulations on a great career @M_Raj03 di. One of the best to take the field. Thank you for inspiring generations of girls to persue the game. I feel myself lucky to have shared the field with you. All the best for the second innings #legend #MithaliRaj
— Harleen Kaur Deol (@imharleenDeol) June 8, 2022
What a phenomenal career it has been @M_Raj03 👏🏻 You are an inspiration to many! Wish you the best for your future.
— Cheteshwar Pujara (@cheteshwar1) June 8, 2022
A story, a journey, a life worth telling. You’re and will always be an inspiration for every girl who dreams of playing cricket for India. A monumental career to say the least. Congratulations and have a great life ahead. 🙏🏽🇮🇳 https://t.co/tgOkfKLa8B
— Amit Mishra (@MishiAmit) June 8, 2022
— Sidra Amin (@SidraAmin31) June 8, 2022
Congratulations @M_Raj03 on a glorious career. You are a role model and an inspiration to many. Wishing you the very best in your second innings 👏👏
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) June 8, 2022
— S.Badrinath (@s_badrinath) June 8, 2022
Most runs. 23 long years. The Greatest of All Time. 🐐🇮🇳
Thank you for everything, Mithali Raj. 👑💗 pic.twitter.com/NMG2YMCiY3
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) June 8, 2022
To play for India 🇮🇳 is a dream a very few fulfill and to be able represent the nation for 23 years is just amazing.
You have been a pillar to Women’s Cricket in India and have shaped the lives of many young girls.
Many congratulations on a phenomenal career @M_Raj03. https://t.co/jVHmMTW2YP
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) June 8, 2022
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) June 8, 2022
Congratulations on a wonderful career @M_Raj03! Not only have you set remarkable records, you led by example each time you stepped on to the field. Countless youngsters around the world look up to you with inspiration and pride! Here’s wishing you good luck for the next innings! pic.twitter.com/6b6AsI4Ez2
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) June 8, 2022
You have inspired many to take the bat and play for India! Be very proud of your career @M_Raj03 👏🏻 It was an absolute delight to watch you in blue. All the very best for your future.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 8, 2022
You can be very proud of your career. A true legend and and a hero who inspired millions to dream about playing cricket. Congratulations and best wishes for your new innings @M_Raj03 #Legend #CricketTwitter https://t.co/Lh8VNAAx5h
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) June 8, 2022
Your contribution to Indian Cricket has been phenomenal. Congratulations @M_Raj03 on an amazing career. You leave behind a rich legacy.
We wish you all the very best for your second innings 🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/0R66EcM0gT
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 8, 2022
23 saal bemisaal! 💙
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) June 8, 2022
And so an era ends. A thank you is insufficient for your immense and immeasurable contribution to cricket (not just women's cricket) in India, Mithali di. Legend. https://t.co/DZiMdmDfLx
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) June 8, 2022
Towards the end of her career, Mithali had been in form longer than some of her teammates had been alive 🙂 That's how long she served Indian cricket. Congratulations and thank you @M_Raj03. Good luck for your second innings 🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/dQYTP8fMxd
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 8, 2022
You have been a jewel in the crown of Indian cricket @M_Raj03. When another little girl, like you once were, dreams of playing cricket, she will dream of doing what you did. Champion. https://t.co/AR32O9CKjI
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 8, 2022
Legend. One of the best ever to have played this beautiful game. Thank you so much for your contribution…and of course, the countless memories of making the entire nation super proud. Go well in the second innings 😊🤩✌️ https://t.co/26sqWlzFPJ
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 8, 2022
🏏🇮🇳 THE TALE OF MITHALI RAJ! Eternally grateful for all the memories 👑
♥️ Mithali Raj's Bharat Army forever!
— The Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) June 8, 2022
In India, the name Mithali Raj has been synonymous to women's cricket. You have been an inspiration to millions all over the world. My best wishes to you for your future endeavours @M_Raj03. 😊 pic.twitter.com/kchguzAB8E
— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 8, 2022
𝐂𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧, 𝙻𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚛, 𝕃𝕖𝕘𝕖𝕟𝕕 and an inspiration to millions over a two-decade long career 👏
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 8, 2022
Trip down the memory lane.
In 2001-02, Doordarshan was showing an ODI between ENG and IND in Hyderabad live.
Mithali Raj composed an innings (40 odd runs) of sweetness and melody against her nemesis Pearson, Taylor and co.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) June 8, 2022