She is every Indian female cricketer’s role model. At a time when cricket was purely a men’s sport, she is the one who has revolutionized Women’s Cricket! Mithali Raj is a living legend.
Mithali made her debut in 1999 as a 17-year-old against Ireland and straightaway showed her prowess with the bat scoring a ton on ODI debut. In August 2002 as a 19-year-old she brought up her first double ton in test cricket scoring 214 vs England at Taunton. That was the highest score in Women’s Test Cricket at that moment, a record which was later broken by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who made 242 vs West Indies.
Mithali Raj was on Ted Talks India show having a chat with Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan. She said, “When you are on the field, and everyone is looking up to you and the entire team to bring back the trophy, (then) it is not just about the game. So, it is necessary for us to stay focused… and we all have our own ways to ensure we give our best on the field. I read books to get rid of pressure during a match. It does help me to keep calm and encourage a good performance.”
SRK did not let the opportunity to praise her slip. He lauded her saying he wants Mithali to become the coach of men’s team someday.
“I want to see you (Mithali) as the coach of the men’s cricket team one day,” said Shah Rukh and Mithali was quick to respond, “I always want to give my best.”
She led India to World Cup final in 2005. India ended as Runners-up in the tournament held in South Africa.She has received Arjuna Award in 2003 and Padma Shri award in 2015. Mithali Raj is the 3rd player to captain in 100 ODIs in Women’s Cricket after Belinda Clark (101) and Charlotte Edwards (117)
— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) January 4, 2018
Mithali Raj has been India’s female Tendulkar as well female Dhoni. An inspirational leader who leads from the front with the bat, she is the befitting reply to those who say this is only men’s sport and girls don’t belong here!