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Mithali Dorai Raj(மிதாலி துரை ராஜ்) is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian women's national cricket team in ODIs.[2] Often regarded as one of the greatest batswomen to have ever played the game, she is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in WODIs.[3][4] She is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs.[5] Raj also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs.[6] In June 2018 during the 2018 Women's Twenty20 Asia Cup, she became the first player from India (either male or female) to score 2000 runs in T20Is, and also became the first woman cricketer to reach 2002 WT20I runs.[7][8][9]

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj Truro 2012.jpg
Raj batting in 2012
Personal information
Full nameMithali Dorai Raj
Born (1982-12-03) 3 December 1982 (age 36)[1]
Jodhpur, Rajasthan
BattingRight-handed
BowlingRight-arm leg break
RoleBatter
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 55)14 January 2002 v England
Last Test16 November 2014 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 60)26 June 1999 v Ireland
Last ODI14 October 2019 v South Africa
ODI shirt no.3
T20I debut (cap 9)5 August 2006 v England
Last T20I9 March 2019 v England
T20I shirt no.3
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2006–presentRailways
Career statistics
Competition WTests WODI WT20I
Matches 10 203 89
Runs scored 663 6,731 2,364
Batting average 51.00 51.38 37.52
100s/50s 1/4 7/52 0/17
Top score 214 125* 97*
Balls bowled 72 171 6
Wickets 0 8
Bowling average 11.37
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 3/4
Catches/stumpings 11/– 50/– 19/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 14 October 2019

Raj is the only player (male or female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in 2005 and 2017.[10][11] On 1 February 2019, during India's series against New Zealand Women, Raj became the first woman to play in 200 ODI matches.[12]

In September 2019, she announced her retirement from T20Is to focus on ODI cricket.[13] The former captain Mithali Raj became the first woman to complete 20 years in international cricket.[14]

Early lifeEdit

Mithali Raj was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on 3 December 1982. Her father is Dorai Raj, who was an Airman (Warrant Officer) in the Indian Air Force, and mother is Leela Raj. She is from a Tamil family. Raj started to play the game at age of 10 and at the age of 17, she was picked for the Indian team. She lives in Hyderabad, Telangana.[15][16] She attended Keyes High School for Girls in Secunderabad. She attended Kasturba Gandhi Junior College for Women in West Marredpally (Secunderabad) for her intermediate studies. She started cricket coaching in her school days along with her elder brother. She practised at school, often playing with male cricketers in the nets.[citation needed]

CareerEdit

Raj has played both Test and One Day International cricket for India's women's cricket team.[17] 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.[18] She made her One Day International debut in 1999 against Ireland at Milton Keynes and scored 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[19] against England in the second and final Test at County Ground, Taunton. The record has since been surpassed by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who scored 242 against West Indies in March 2004.[20]

Raj was ill with a strain of typhoid during the CricInfo Women's World Cup in 2002, seriously hampering India's progress. However, she then led them to their first World Cup final in 2005, in South Africa, where they met Australia who proved too strong.

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.[citation needed]

She led the Indian team to the finals in the 2005 Women's Cricket World Cup where the team lost to Australia.[21] She is a part-time leg-break bowler as well. She is a recipient of the Arjuna award for the year 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, Raj rolls her arm over bowling leg-spinners and providing variety to the attack.[citation needed]

At the 2013 Women's World Cup, Raj 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.[22]

In February 2017, she became the second player to score 5,500 runs in WODIs.[5] Raj is the first player to captain most matches for India in ODI and T20I.[23][24]

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.[25][26][27]

In December 2017, she was named as one of the players in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year.[28][29]

In October 2018, she was named in India's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.[30][31]

In September 2019, Raj has retired from T20I Cricket. She dreams to bring 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.[32][33]

India's Raj has announced her retirement from international T20s[34]

Domestic careerEdit

Playing for Railways in the domestic competition, Raj began by playing with stars like Purnima Rau, Anjum Chopra and Anju Jain for Air India.[35]

Cricket performanceEdit

 
Raj at the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup
  • Mithali held the record for the highest individual score by an Indian Woman Cricketer in a World Cup match (91 not out off 104 deliveries which included 9 fours) against New Zealand in the Women's World Cup 2005.[36] Harmanpreet Kaur overtook Raj by scoring a century (107 from 109 balls) in the second match of ICC Women's World Cup 2013 against England.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • During the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, Raj scored her seventh consecutive half-century and made a record for most consecutive fifties by a player.[37][38]
  • Mithali is the 1st Indian and 5th woman cricketer overall to score over 1,000 World Cup runs.[39]
  • She holds the record for playing the most consecutive Women's One Day Internationals for a team (109).[40]

Coaching careerEdit

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

In popular cultureEdit

After the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures acquired the rights to make a feature film on Raj's life. She said "Hoping that this movie inspires more people, especially young girls to take up sports as a career."[41]

The biopic is in planning and the shoot is scheduled to start in 2019. Raj 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." [42]

ControversiesEdit

Raj was involved in controversy with cricket management due to her attitude towards the game during the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20.[43] She accused the coach Ramesh Powar and BCCI COA member Diana Edulji in a letter to BCCI of bias, humiliation and not including her in the T20 world cup semifinals.[44] Powar in turn criticized that Raj had threatened that she would retire from the game of the cricket when asked to play down the batting order.[45] He also accused Raj of 'blackmailing and pressurising 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 & 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."[46] Raj's 50 against Ireland in the same tournament in which she ended up playing 25 dot balls was also criticized by the coach.[47]

Her relationship with the T20 team's captain Harmanpreet Kaur is also said to be strained.[48]

Awards and honoursEdit

Year Award Notes
2003 Arjuna Award[49]
2015 Padma Shri India's fourth highest civilian award[50]
2017 Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award At the Radiant Wellness Conclave, Chennai[51]
2017 Vogue Sportsperson of the Year At Vogue's 10th anniversary[52]
2017 BBC 100 Women list 2017[53]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Mithali Raj". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Raj finds life lonely at the top".
  3. ^ "Record-setting Raj top of the women's charts". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Mithali Raj becomes leading run-scorer in women's ODI cricket; surpasses England's Charlotte Edwards". Indian Express. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Meshram-Raj and spin quartet to the fore in emphatic India win". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Records | Women's One-Day Internationals | Batting records | Most fifties in career | ESPNcricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Mithali Raj edges Virat Kohli, becomes first India cricketer to score 2000 T20I runs".
  8. ^ NDTVSports.com. "Women's Asia Cup: Mithali Raj Becomes First Woman To Reach 2000 T20I Runs – NDTV Sports". NDTVSports.com. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  9. ^ "'Consistent run machine': Mithali Raj becomes FIRST Indian to score 2000 runs in T20Is; fans ECSTATIC". The Indian Express. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  10. ^ "India's chance to spur a revolution".
  11. ^ "Team of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 announced".
  12. ^ "Mithali Raj at 200: The best of a record-breaking career". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Mithali Raj retires from T20I cricket". ESPNcricinfo. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Mithali Raj becomes 1st woman to complete 20 years in international cricket". Hindustan Times. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Mithali Raj on pitch, but 1 1-year wait for 500 yards".
  16. ^ "Indian women will play test cricket after eight years, captain Mithali Raj happy". Patrika Group (4 August 2014). Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Thank you, Mithali Raj, for being Indian cricket's evergreen woman in blue".
  18. ^ "Mithali Raj – From Bharatnatyam dancer to cricket icon".
  19. ^ "Cricinfo – Women's Test Highest Individual Scores". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Most runs in an innings (progressive record holder) in Women's Test matches". Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  21. ^ "Why Women's Cricket World Cup final is extra special for Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami".
  22. ^ "Mithali 200 ODIs player and highest run-scorer". YoGems. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  23. ^ http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283425.html
  24. ^ "Records | Women's Twenty20 Internationals | Individual records (captains, players, umpires) | Most matches as captain | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Final, ICC Women's World Cup at London, Jul 23 2017 | Match Commentary | ESPNCricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  26. ^ World Cup Final, BBC Sport, 23 July 2017.
  27. ^ England v India: Women's World Cup final – live!, The Guardian, 23 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Three Indian Women in ICC Teams". The Hindu.
  29. ^ "Ellyse Perry declared ICC's Women's Cricketer of the Year". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  30. ^ "Indian Women's Team for ICC Women's World Twenty20 announced". Board of Control for Cricket in India. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  31. ^ "India Women bank on youth for WT20 campaign". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Mithali Raj retires from T20I cricket". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  33. ^ DelhiSeptember 28, India Today Web Desk New; September 28, 2019UPDATED:; Ist, 2019 08:48. "Mithali Raj is 'motivated' after Sachin Tendulkar shares throwback practice video". India Today. Retrieved 5 October 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  34. ^ "Mithali Raj: India's record run-scorer retires from T20 internationals". 3 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  35. ^ Katyal, Surabhi. "9 Things to Know About Mithali Raj – 2nd Woman Cricketer in the World with 5000 ODI Runs". thebetterindia.com. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Batting records – Women's One-Day Internationals – Cricinfo Statsguru – ESPN Cricinfo". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  37. ^ Express Web Desk (25 June 2017). "India vs England, ICC Women's World Cup 2017: Mithali Raj creates world record with 7th consecutive fifty". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Records | Women's One-Day Internationals | Batting records | Fifties in consecutive innings | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  39. ^ "Records / Women's World Cup / Most runs".
  40. ^ "Records | Women's One-Day Internationals | Individual records (captains, players, umpires) | Most consecutive matches for a team | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  41. ^ "A biopic on Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj in the works". The Indian Express. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  42. ^ "Mithali Raj says Priyanka Chopra ideal choice for her biopic - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  43. ^ https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket/story/mithali-raj-bcci-coa-harmanpreet-kaur-ramesh-powar-india-women-s-world-t20-1397232-2018-11-27
  44. ^ "Mithali Raj accuses Diana Edulji of bias, claims 'people out to destroy me'". The Indian Express. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Mithali Raj threatened to retire if she couldn't open - Ramesh Powar". ESPNcricinfo. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  46. ^ "Mithali Raj Accuses CoA Member Diana Edulji, Coach Ramesh Powar Of Bias". https://www.outlookindia.com/. Retrieved 3 September 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  47. ^ "ab mithali ne 25 dot ball khele ,". NDTVIndia. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  48. ^ "Mithali Raj terms Harmanpreet Kaur's decision to back coach's decision to bench me in the semi-final "hurtful" | Cricket News". www.timesnownews.com. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  49. ^ "List of Arjuna Awardees". Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. Archived from the original on 25 December 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  50. ^ "Padma Awards 2015". Press Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  51. ^ "Conclave highlights need for holistic health". www.deccanchronicle.com. 24 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  52. ^ "Vogue celebrates 10th anniversary with 1st Vogue Women of the Year Awards". Everything Experiential. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  53. ^ "Mithali Raj features on BBC's 100 Women list - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 September 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit