Hamilton, Feb 1: Indian women's ODI team skipper Mithali Raj on Friday became the first female cricketer to feature in 200 ODIs as she led her team out against New Zealand in the third and final match here.
So far, India have played a total of 263 ODIs and Mithali has featured in 200 of them.
Raj made her ODI debut on June 25, 1999. Of the 213 matches played by the team in the format, she has been a part of all but 13 of them.
Her international career has lasted 19 years and 219 days – and counting! That is the highest among all female players, and fourth-highest if the male cricketers are included. The three male players are-- Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Javed Miandad.
This long career has brought her 6,613 runs, which include seven 100s and an incredible 52 fifties, the most recent of which she scored in the second ODI against New Zealand. Many of the Raj's best knocks came at a time when the women's game hadn't reached the levels of professionalism that it now has, and before many of the games were on television – but as the sport has grown, so has her own game.
Mithali's participation in her 200th ODI came a day after Rohit Sharma became the 14th Indian male cricketer to play 200 one-day internationals when he walked out to toss with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at the same venue on Thursday.
India have already won the series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead. The Kiwi skipper Amy Satterthwaite elected to field after winning the toss. Raj scored 9 in 28 balls as India got off to a poor start and went 6 wickets down for 120 in the 35th over. (UNI)