Mithali Raj, one of the greatest Indian cricketers of the 21st century, has announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket. In a career spanning across two decades, Mithali represented India in 12 Tests, 232 ODIs, and 89 T20Is. 

“I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talented young players and the future of Indian Cricket is bright,” wrote Mithali on Twitter. 

She had already called time on her T20I career, having played her last match in 2019 against England. But the retirement from the other two formats of the game came as a surprise for fans. In ODIs, Mithali is the only women’s cricketer to score over 7000 runs, and that too at a stellar average of 50.68. 

She burst onto the scene with a stunning century against Ireland on her ODI debut in 1999, and six years later, she captained the Indian team to the 2005 ODI World Cup. A decade later, she became the first Indian captain to reach two ODI World Cup finals after taking India to another World Cup decider in 2017. 

Mithali signaled her intention to stay connected with the game, so she might soon be seen in either administrative or coaching roles. “This journey may have ended but another one beckons as I’d love to stay involved in the game I love and contribute to the growth of Women’s Cricket in India and the world over.”

The BCCI led the congratulatory messages for Mithali on her storied career. “Your contribution to Indian Cricket has been phenomenal. Congratulations @M_Raj03 on an amazing career. You leave behind a rich legacy. We wish you all the very best for your second innings,” wrote the BCCI.

One user pointed out the uncanny similarity between MS Dhoni and Mithali’s retirement. Both of them scored half-centuries in their last games, led their sides for the most number of matches, and retired without any farewell game.

Here’s how others reacted:

Featured Image Credit: BCCI