A Day After She Turns 36, Here’s Celebrating Mithali Raj, One Of The Best Things To Have Happened To The Game Of Cricket
4 December 2018
Years ago, a girl wanted to be a dancer. She loved sleeping, so her father decided to send her for early morning cricket practice sessions. And once she wore the Indian Team jersey, there was no looking back. That girl was none other than Mithali Raj, a name that challenged the sport being called the GENTLEMAN’S GAME.
Mithali is nothing less than a gift to the game of Cricket. India reached the World Cup final in 2005 and 2017, both times under the captaincy of Mithali. She has a major contribution in making Indian Women’s Cricket what it is today. We all love Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who have achieved glorious feats and notched up mammoth runs in their careers, but did you know that Mithali recently landed up becoming India’s highest scoring T20 cricketer, and has more number of runs than both Kohli and Sharma?
But today, sadly, she finds herself in the middle of an ugly controversy. In the T20 Women’s World Cup semifinal match against England, Mithali was dropped. She had a tiff with coach Ramesh Powar who claimed that Mithali was putting personal interests ahead of the team. Mithali claimed that Powar insulted her during the tournament. India ended up losing miserably against England. Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, however, had ‘no regrets’ for not including Mithali in the playing 11, and said that whatever was decided was in the best interest of the team.
Mithali then took to Twitter to express her grief and how upset she was –
“I’m deeply saddened & hurt by the aspersions cast on me. My commitment to the game & 20 yrs of playing for my country, the hard work, sweat, in vain. Today, my patriotism doubted, my skill set questioned & all the mud-slinging- it’s the darkest day of my life. May God give strength.”
Mithali is the highest run-scorer in women’s ODI cricket and the only female cricketer to cross 6000 runs in this format. A very sorted character, Mithali is also known for her sensible and transparent quotes. Once at an event, a reporter asked her – “Who is your favourite male cricketer?”
She replied – “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is? I have always been asked who’s your favourite cricketer but you should ask them who their favourite female cricketer is.”
In the past, she had said that branding is needed to make women’s cricket popular like men’s cricket.
Hardworking and disciplined, Mithali Raj has indeed carved a niche and made a mark for herself. She has been touted as the ‘Face of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team’. People have even gone on to compare her to Sachin Tendulkar, but one would say that it would be wrong to compare her to anyone else. Mithali Raj is well, Mithali Raj.
From entertaining us with her mind-blowing and elegant shots to helping her team win matches fearlessly, she has seriously done it all.
Mithali Raj is our woman of courage because she is herself and is never afraid to speak her mind. She is a fighter, a champion and an inspiring warrior who has performed even under pressure on the field and played with utmost dedication for her country. Above all, on most occasions, she has single-handedly won matches for her team and brought women’s cricket to the fore.
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