Former Indian skipper Mithali Raj is known as a record book. Now she becomes the first woman cricketer to play international cricket for more than 20 years. She achieved this landmark in the first ODI of the three-match series between India and South Africa at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara on Wednesday. She scored 11* as India won the match by eight wickets against South Africa.
Mithali, first appearance in international cricket was against Ireland on June 26, 1999. She has completed 20 years and 105 days of her career in the 50-over format. She is also the only female cricketer to have played ODI cricket for over two decades.
She also holds the record for playing the maximum number of ODIs in women’s cricket. She has played 204 ODIs till now and is followed by England’s Charlotte Edwards (191), Jhulan Goswami (178), Alex Blackwell (144) of Australia.
The 36-year-old Mitali has played 10 Tests and 89 T20Is as well. Last month, she announced her retirement from T20I cricket. Overall, legendary Indian batsman, Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for having the longest international career — 22 years and 91 days. In second place Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya (21 years and 184 days), Javed Miandad (20 years and 272 days) of Pakistan, with Mithali coming in at the fourth spot.