When the captain of the Indian women’s team Mitali Raj coming out on the field here on Sunday, she will become only the second cricketer after that Sachin Tendulkar to play 22 years of cricket for one day international (ODI).
Tendulkar played 22 years and 91 days, while Mittali would spend just one day in 22 years when he came out to throw against England captain Heather Knight on Sunday. The 38-year-old made his debut on June 26, 1999 in Milton Keynes against Ireland. She was only 16 then.
For 22 years, it has run 7,098 tracks with seven centuries and 55 half-centuries in 214 women’s ODIs. The Jodhpur-born player is the only female cricketer to have scored more than 6,000 ODI tracks. It has also scored 2,364 T20 International tracks.
“I feel happy to receive messages congratulating me on my career,” Mittali told a news conference on the eve of the first ODI against England.
“If I had to give a message to a 16-year-old, I would say, enjoy the earth for the first time representing your country, which at the time obviously … expectations were so heavy on my shoulders, I didn’t get a chance to understand the meaning of wearing the blue jersey and playing for the country is something I would say to 16-year-old Mitali, “she added.
In his debut for ODI 22 years ago, Mitali collected an undefeated 114 and shared 258 first-hand partnerships with his colleague Reshma Gandhi, who also broke a century – 104 no. India won this match with 10 weeks.
Since then, Mitali has gone from strength to strength.