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‘Even though you knew this day is coming, can’t help but feel a little sad’ – Twitter pays tribute to Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj announced her retirement from international cricket today, posting the news on her Twitter handle. The legendary India captain and batter steps down from career that has spanned over two decades, and she retires as as one of the greats of world cricket.

“Thank you for all your love & support over the years! I look forward to my 2nd innings with your blessing and support,” she tweeted. “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.”

Raj was nothing short of a wunderkind. In her debut in 1999 at the age of sixteen, she stunned the cricket world with a blistering maiden century against Ireland. Her unbeaten 114 made her the youngest ever cricketer to slam an international century. She retires as the leading run-scorer in women’s cricket, with 10,868 runs from 333 appearances for India across formats.

Raj’s ODI career remains unparallalled in the women’s game. In 23 years she has accumulated 7805 runs from 232 matches, and averages 50. She is also India’s leading run-getter in T20Is. Raj remains the only player in the history of cricket to lead her side to two World Cup finals, the first against Australia in 2005 and a narrow miss in 2017 when England triumphed instead. She has only played 12 Tests, but her 214 remains the only Test double-century by an Indian in women’s Tests. Raj is also the first batter to score seven fifties in a row in women’s ODIs.

Raj’s retirement means that the ODI against South Africa during the World Cup marked her final international appearance for India. She scored 68 off 84 balls, but a heartbreaking last over saw India knocked out without qualifying for the playoffs.

Tributes and feliciations came pouring in from across the world on Twitter the moment she announced the news.

Click here to view Mithali’s records

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