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Sunday, July 25, 2021

22 years of Mithali Raj: Indian legend scores 56th ODI half-century on red-letter day

Mithali Raj is now the only cricketer other than Sachin Tendulkar - across men's and women's cricket - to have an international career spanning more than 22 years.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 28, 2021 2:51:34 pm
Mithali Raj in action against England on Sunday (ECB)

Mithali Raj, who held the Indian innings together with her 72 in the 1st ODI vs England as the visitors reached 201/8 in 50 overs on Sunday, became the only woman cricketer to have an international career spanning more than 22 years.

Raj had made her debut on June 26, 1999. As such, she completed a full 22 years in international cricket by taking the field for the Indian women’s cricket team on Sunday. Only Sachin Tendulkar (22 years 91 days) has a longer career than Mithali Raj across men’s and women’s cricket.

No other cricketer has been active in international cricket for as long as 22 years.

Raj has also played the most ODIs in women’s cricket (214) and is also the highest scorer in women’s ODIs with more than 7000 runs.

In India’s innings on Sunday, Raj rescued the innings from 27/2. She shared two crucial partnerships — 56 runs with Punam Raut (32) and 65 with Deepti Sharma (30).

She reached her fifty in 95 balls. After Deepti’s dismissal, Mithali changed gears and hit three boundaries in an over, slicing and lofting Anya Shrubsole to plunder 15 runs off the 44th over.

Just when Mithali was looking dangerous, Ecclestone got rid of her in the 46th over as India slumped to 180 for 6.

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