Mithali Raj joins Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Javed Miandad in the list for longest ODI career

Poster girl of women’s cricket in India, Mithali Raj completed twenty years of international cricket on 9th October, playing the 1st ODI of the 3 match series against South Africa Women.

Mithali Raj and Sachin Tendulkar
Mithali Raj and Sachin Tendulkar

She becomes the first female player to play for her country for over two decades. Raj, who captains the ODI side of India, led the team to a win over South Africa in the first match of the ODI series held at Vadodara.

Mithali thus joins the list of elite players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Javed Miandad who have represented their respective countries in cricket for more than twenty years.

Mithali played her 205th ODI which was the first match of the series against South Africa. She thus completed 20 years and 105 days of playing international cricket.

Mithali Raj became the fourth overall cricket player to join the list. Sachin Tendulkar tops the list having played for a record 22 years and 91 days for India.

Mithali made her debut in 1999 as a 16-year old in an away match against Ireland, where she scored 114 runs and remained unbeaten. No other female batter of India has scored more than her on ODI debut for the country.

Mithali already holds the record for playing the most number of ODIs in women’s cricket, having just played her 205th game against South Africa in Baroda. Raj is also the highest runscorer in women’s cricket and the only woman cricketer to surpass 6000 runs in ODIs.

Mithali Raj is also the first cricketer from India to have led the team in 2 world cup finals. In 2017, she captained the India side that reached the World Cup final but lost to hosts England by 9 runs.

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Mithali also holds the feat of scoring most fifties in women’s ODIs. Now she became the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to play for the country for more than 20 years.

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