Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian cricket team in both Test and ODIs, Mithali Raj is one of the finest women cricketers of all time
Here we look at 40 interesting facts about the one and only Mithali Raj.
40 Interesting facts about Mithali Raj
1) Mithali was born on 3 December 1982 in a Tamil family in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
Her father Dorai Raj was an Airman in the Indian Air Force.
2) From her childhood, Mithali Raj started learning Bharatnatyam and in a few years, became a qualified Bharatnatyam dancer
She was so much in love with Bharatnatyam, that, at one point in time, she wanted to pursue it as a career option
3) During her school days, Raj started to play cricket along with her elder brother
4) She first played for the Railways at the domestic level and then started playing for Air India
While playing for Air India, she got acquainted with Anjum Chopra and Anju Jain
5) Mithali made her ODI debut in 1999 against Ireland, scored 114 runs, and became the youngest centurion in ODIs (16 years 205 days)
6) Her unbeaten knock of 114 runs is also the third-highest score made by a woman cricketer on ODI debut after Lynne Thomas and Nicole Bolton.
7) On 17 August 2002, a 19-year-old Mithali scored a double century ( 214 runs ) at County Ground, Taunton.
By doing so, she broke Karen Rolton’s record of highest individual Test score of 209 not out
This record was surpassed by Pakistan’s Kiran Baluch in 2004
8) Mithali along with her partner Reshma added 258 runs for the first wicket which is the third-best partnership for any wicket
9) At 21 years and 4 days, Mitali Raj became the youngest captain of the Indian women’s cricket team.
10) Mithali Raj received the Arjuna Award in 2003.
11) She led the Indian team to the finals of the 2005 Women’s cricket World Cup
12) In August 2006, Mithali led the Indian women side to their first-ever Test series victory against England by a 1-0 margin.
13) Raj is the only Indian cricketer who didn’t get dismissed at a duck for seven consecutive years (2000-07)
14) Between 2004 and 2008, she led India in four Asia Cups and won all four of them.
15) In 2015, Mithali was awarded the Padma Shri award by the Government of India
16) In the same year, Raj became the first women cricketer to win the ‘Wisden India Cricketer of the Year’ award.
17) On 7th June 2017, Mithali became the first Indian cricketer to score 2,000 T20I runs ( in 75 innings )
18) In July 2017, Mitali became the first player to score 6,000 ODI runs in women’s cricket
19) Mithali Raj also became the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in 2017.
20) In 2021, Mithali Raj received the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna from the Government of India
21) She is the highest run-scorer in ODIs and the only women cricketer to get past the 7,000 run mark in Women’s ODIs
22) Out of her 220 ODIs, Mithali has played 55 matches against them.
23) Mithali holds the second-best record in terms of most consecutive innings without a duck (with 74 innings) after Karen Rolton (104).
24) Mithali Raj has scored the most half-centuries in women’s cricket with 80 career half-centuries.
25) She has got seven ODI centuries, which is the most by any Indian woman cricketer.
26) Mithali Raj was the first Indian women cricketer and the second female cricketer in the world to complete 5,000 ODI runs
27) Mithali has played 220 ODIs for India and is the most capped women’s cricketer in women’s ODIs after Charlotte Edwards (191).
28) Mithali Raj played the role of a player-coach for India women’s national cricket team.
29) Mithali is the only Indian and 5th woman cricketer to score over 1,000 runs in World Cup matches
30) Raj is the only cricketer who has captained a national team in two ICC ODI World Cup finals; 2005 and 2017.
31) She is joint 4th on the list of most catches ( with Stefanie Taylor ) by a fielder in women’s ODI with 58 catches.
32) She is the first cricketer to score seven consecutive 50s in women’s ODIs.
33) Mithali Raj, in her 23-year old career, has scored the most number of runs in 2006
She scored 684 runs that year at an average of 45.60.
34) She has scored 17 T20I fifties, the most by any Indian women’s cricketer in the T20Is.
35) She led the Indian women’s team to a record 16 match wins starting with defeating Australia in February 2016 and ending in May 2017
36) Raj has captained India for the most number of times in ODIs and T20Is
37) Mithali has got out for a duck only four times in ODIs, the joint second-lowest by any women’s cricketer with more than 100 ODIs experience
38) Mithali Raj currently holds the 3rd position in women’s ODI batting rankings
39) Mitali has the best average among all Indian woman cricketers in Test matches.
40) She is also an avid book reader and an Indian classical dance enthusiast