Mithali Raj Attending a press conference
“Where do we start” these are words that exactly flashes through the mind when we begin to write something about Mithali Raj. The longevity in her career is something which cannot be penned in any form of an article. It might end up in short biography, and we all know the reading habits of folks in this fast-paced world.
She has completed almost 20 years in the world of international cricket. She played her first international match 26 June 1999, and on 1st of February, she will be playing her 200th international ODI.
It has been a long journey. She is the only women cricketer with such longevity in the international game and ironically, she is an Indian. This is the same country where sport and women are nothing but two parallel lines. It feels good to see the gap between the two parallel lines reducing increasingly, and that is the truth of the day, thanks to women like Mithali Raj._______, ________, …. (add your names, my name for women’s empowerment at least for today is Mithali Raj).
Let’s get back to some cricketing numbers. She has amassed more than 6,000 runs in the 199 ODI that she has played up until now, with an average of above 50. She is a player, who embodies the statement that- "if a player can stand the test of test circlet, then that particular player can play all forms of the game’. Such a breed of players in the modern T20 world is scarce. Yes, it is true that we cannot take a timeless test cricket across boundaries, T20 cricket is the way to take the game forward, but we don’t trade our birthplace for anything in the world (Test cricket is the birthplace of this beautiful game) or do we?.
Mithali Raj set to play 200th ODI
Her career has been a collage of ups and downs, she has been injured in the initial stages of her career and has returned with more power. She has a staggering average of 100 plus batting second and anchoring the chase. She batted alongside various women cricketers, but her partnership with Smriti Mandhana is something to watch and take note off. The pair has been batting together very well. On one hand, we have Smriti who likes to play her shots, while on the other hand, we have someone like Mithali Raj who has been playing the role of sheet-anchor.
This no place to talk about the world cup controversy. But yes, we can say that she has grown with the game, and molded herself according to the changing situation. She has seen the journey of the game from the ground to the TV Sets, and as she goes to play her 200th ODI on Friday, she carries the journey of the women's cricket with her.
With more centuries that are knocking on the door, she is here to inspire people from all profession as hard work, determination, and excellence knows no profession