India skipper Mithali Raj has hinted that she will be taking retirement from the game after the upcoming 50-over World Cup in New Zealand. Mithali was speaking after India defeated New Zealand in the final ODI. â€œWhen I retire after this tournament, I will see that the squad is far stronger with the upcoming new talent,â€ said Mithali Raj.
Mithali Raj has been the pillar of support in Indiaâ€™s batting lineup for many years. She has been the recipient of numerous awards like the highest number of runs for a womenâ€™s cricketer in ODIs, featured in the list of top five best batting averages, the first woman to play 200 ODI matches and the first woman to complete 7,000 ODI runs.
Under her captaincy, the Indian Womenâ€™s team reached the World Cup final in 2005, however they lost against Australia. Furthermore, the team won the 2005-06 Womenâ€™s Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri in 2015 and Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna in 2021.
The only milestone left for her to achieve is to win a World Cup title. The upcoming World Cup in New Zealand may be her last mega event. It will be difficult for India to find someone who can fill in her shoes. The captain has shown support to the young and upcoming talents to take up the role after her retirement.
India Womenâ€™s team toured New Zealand for the 5-match ODI series. The series ended in Indiaâ€™s defeat, however, the team ended on a high note after defeating New Zealand in the last ODI by six wickets. India is fortunate to get the opportunity to play in the New Zealand conditions before the World Cup.