Mithali Raj likely to retire from T20Is after England series

It is understood the 36-year-old doesn’t feature in the team management’s plans for the T20 World Cup in 2020, and that the BCCI will give her the chance of bowing out on her own terms.

Mithali Raj’s place in the final XI isn't certain for any of the three T20Is against New Zealand.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Mithali Raj is likely to bring down curtains on her Twenty20 International (T20I) career at the conclusion of the three-match home series against England, on March 9, 2019.

It is still not clear whether Mithali will be a part of the playing XI in India’s three-match T20I series against New Zealand that begins in Wellington on Wednesday. There are indications, however, that she may not be selected in all the matches against the ‘White Ferns’ and that she has been made aware of this by a senior member of the team management.

Regardless of the scenario, she is not likely to continue her career in the format beyond the next assignment.

Looking to the future

“Mithali understands that skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will like to concentrate on building a team for the [T20 World Cup in 2020] and that she is unlikely to feature in that tournament,” a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“But a player of her stature should get a warm send-off, and that is likely to be against England,” the official added.

Read | Mithali Raj happy to represent India for so long

It is understood Mithali can read the writing on the wall, and that the BCCI will give her chance to retire from the format on her own terms. “It is still not sure whether she would like to play the full series against England or like former men’s team pacer Ashish Nehra, play the first game of the series and retire,” the official stated.

Mithali’s place in the T20 side has been under scanner, especially since her omission from the XI that played the semifinal at the T20 World Cup in 2018.

Mithali has so far scored 2,283 runs from 85 T20Is with 17 half-centuries, including a highest score of 97.