Indian cricketer Mithali Raj became the first woman cricketer to have an ODI career lasting over 20 years as she stepped on the field for the series opener against South Africa in Vadodara on Wednesday, 9 October.
The former Indian captain had made her debut on 26 June, 1999, against Ireland.
Since then, she has played 10 Test matches, 89 T20Is and 203 ODIs – also making her the first female cricketer in the world to play 200 ODI matches.
In her career so far, she has scored 6720 runs in 183 innings in ODI cricket with seven centuries and 52 half-centuries. She scored a century in her very first ODI match, against Ireland in 1999, making her the youngest woman cricketer to score a century in International Cricket (at the age of 16).
Among both men and women, Mithali falls in at fourth position when it comes to the longest career span in ODI cricket.
Leading the pack is the ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar, with career that span over 22 years and 91 days. Following the Master Blaster is Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya (21 years and 184 days), Pakistan’s Javed Miandad (20 years and 272 days) followed by Mithali Raj.
The 36-year-old also holds the record for the most no. of Player of the Match awards by an Indian Women Cricketer (18). She also became the youngest captain in the history of Indian Women Cricket when she led the Indian team against West Indies in 2004 at the age of 21.
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