Wishes Pour In For Mithali Raj As She Gets To 10,000 Run Mark
Known as the "Sachin Tendulkar of Indian women's cricket" for the longevity of her career, Mithali Raj became only the second woman player in the world and the first from India to get to 10,000 international runs during Friday's third ODI against South Africa women.
The 38-year-old Raj, who is in her 22nd year of international cricket, made her debut for India in June 1999 when the Indian men's team was still led by Mohammed Azharuddin and had just a few days before her debut exited the 1999 World Cup in the Super Six stage.
"As far as skill levels go, you can develop as you go along. But such a long career requires discipline and dedication which is visible from the fact that she is playing, scoring, and putting in the hard yards even when there is no cricket," Anjum Chopra, a former India teammate of Raj who witnessed her debut, told IANS.
"Unlike men's cricket, women's cricket is not that frequent. So there are phases where there is no cricket. The fact that she has been able to keep herself going for so long despite that is what stands out. Her cover drives, backfoot punches are all the same but she has added more skills like using the long handle. To keep following a routine day in and day out requires dedication and discipline, especially if you are a woman pursuing sport in India. That is commendable," added Chopra, who represented India in 127 ODIs, 12 Tests, and 18 T20 Internationals.