Milestone woman Mithali recalls memorable moments

While her India team-mates indulged in a game of football in Nagpur on Saturday, Mithali turned the clock back and recounted some of the most memorable moments in her long career.

Mithali, almost 19 years into international cricket, on Friday became the most capped woman cricketer in ODIs, surpassing Charlotte Edwards’ 191 appearances for England.   -  AP

Moments before India Women took the field for its warm-up session, the whole squad assembled in the change room. The Bollywood numbers playing so far stopped, and the girls – and a few good men in the support staff – cheered in unison as Mithali Raj, their captain, cut a cake.

It wasn’t the veteran’s birthday but the squad was marking the big moment in Mithali’s glittering career that was achieved during India’s first ODI against England a day earlier.

Mithali, almost 19 years into international cricket, on Friday became the most capped woman cricketer in ODIs, surpassing Charlotte Edwards’ 191 appearances for England.

While her India team-mates indulged in a game of football, Mithali turned the clock back and recounted some of the most memorable moments in her long career.

 

# World 2005 Cup semi-final (April 7, 2005 at Potchefstroom)

We were facing New Zealand and it was the big semi-final. Tough batting conditions and we were expectedly put in to bat by them. I went in to bat in the first or second over and managed to stay unbeaten till the end of the innings. It wasn't a hundred (91 not out) but that knock was crucial in our team making it to the final. It is one of the highlights of my career.

# ODI versus England (July 1, 2012 at Lord’s)

We were playing at Lord’s. That itself made it a big occasion. I scored some 96 not out (94 not out) in a stiff run chase to beat England in England. It was also the highest successful run chase for India back then 235 or something (230). It was special since it came on the back off a lean patch for me.

# World Cup 2017 quarter-final (July 15, 2017 at Derby)

Fortunate to have lasted another World Cup cycle, it was a matter of pride to have been notch up another hundred, that too in a knock-out match. That hundred set the tone for the bowlers – led by Rajeshwari (Gayakwad) – to rout the Kiwi batsmen.

# World Cup 2009, league match against Australia (March 14, 2009 at Sydney)

World Cup matches usually remain in your memory for long. It was a mixed World Cup for me. Though I didn't score heavily, I played what were sort of crucial innings. The one against Australia in the league where I scored some 45-odd (44) and two catches, that was also one of the most important matches.

# Asia Cup 2008 final (May 11, 2008 at Kurunegala)

They say I remember all my stats. But I don’t remember most of my milestone matches. First match; that time the culture of handing a cap wasn't there so I didn't receive a debut cap. I don't remember my 50th, 100th or 150th match but I remember my 3,000th run in Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup. I scored a fifty (66) in the final and I remember the milestone because Shantha Rangaswamy, who was our coach then, gave me 3,000 Sri Lankan rupees. I still have them.