Mithali Raj announces T20I retirement

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj, the veteran India batter, has announced retirement from T20 Internationals, on Tuesday (September 3).

Having been India’s first-ever T20I captain in 2006, she went on to play 89 matches in the shortest format, scoring 2364 runs – the most by an Indian woman. She led India in 32 of those matches, including the world cups in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

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Her last T20I appearance came against England, in Guwahati, where she scored an unbeaten 32-ball 30. She finishes as the sixth-highest run-getter in T20Is, behind Suzie Bates, Stafanie Taylor, Charlotte Edwards, Meg Lanning and Deandra Dottin, and is the only Indian to have scored more than 2000 runs.

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She also stands 21st in the list of most appearances in T20 Internationals, with only Harmanpreet Kaur (96) having played more games for India. Raj, who has been out of favour with the team management over the last one-year despite a change in the head coach, had made herself available for the series against South Africa a week ago.

“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.

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“It remains my dream to win a World Cup for my country and I want to give it my best. I thank the BCCI for their continuous support and wish the Indian T20 team good luck as they prepare for the home series against South Africa Women.”