Former Indian women’s cricket team T20I skipper and a batting stalwart, Mithali Raj bid adieu to the shortest format of the game earlier today. Mithali led India in 32 T20Is, including three Women’s T20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
However, there were already speculations looming at large regarding Mithali’s selection in the upcoming home series against South Africa, with the focus being on youngsters ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. Clearing any air of ambiguity, the BCCI confirmed the news in a mail.
Mithali, who continues to be India’s ODI captain, last played a T20 international against England Women in Guwahati in March this year 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.
India’s first-ever T20I skipper, Mithali took on the captaincy reigns in 2006, she donned the tricolour in 89 matches in the shortest format. With a towering 2364 runs in the shortest format, Mithali holds the record for the most by an Indian woman.
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.