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With Time Up On Her, Mithali Raj Calls It Quits!

Mithali Raj put an end to all speculation regarding future appearances wearing the India colours by announcing retirement from international cricket. Into her 40th year, it was time to move on for the prima donna of the national team after 23 years of playing Test, one-day internationals and Twenty20 cricket. Mithali took to Twitter to inform fans that she was bidding adieu to the game; her declaration coming a few hours before the BCCI announced Harmanpreet Kaur as captain of the Indian team for the white ball series (ODIs and Twenty20) in Sri Lanka. These two events happening one after another, sent the rumour mill on a spin with whispers that she may have been elbowed out. Mithali’s last assignment as India captain was the failed campaign in the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. Her team lost four league matches and could not enter the semi-finals. For over a decade she had shouldered the task of scoring runs until Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana arrived on the scene, exhibiting lovely stroke play that riveted attention on them in domestic and international cricket. Then came Jemima Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Harleen Deol, Richa Ghosh and Yastika Bhatia; all of whom went after the ball and sent pulses racing. But the famous ‘Didi’ of Indian women’s cricket cannot be denied her exalted place in the pantheon of women’s cricket in the world.