“I’ve not really thought about my future”: Mithali Raj on retirement from international cricket

India lost to South Africa in their must-win game of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022.

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Mithali Raj on Sunday became the oldest Indian player to score a half-century in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. The Jodhpur-born Raj hit 68 off 84 after Smriti Mandhana slammed a quickfire 71 to help India post 274 in their must-win game against South Africa at the 2022 Women’s World Cup.

Despite Indian bowlers delivering well in the death overs, the Proteas Women held their nerves and chased down the competitive total on the final ball of the match, breaking a million hearts back in India.

In the post-match virtual media interaction, Raj was asked about her future as she had hinted about her international retirement before the start of the World Cup.

Replying to the query, the Indian skipper said, “You’ve not given me even an hour to think about my future, to go through and process what has just happened today.”

“When you have a disappointment and in the campaign which ends like this in a World Cup where you’ve really prepared very hard over a year, it takes time to accept and then probably move on from there.”

“Whatever the future holds for each and every player, so I’ve not really thought about my future.”

Raj, only the third cricketer (men and women) after Javed Miandad and Sachin Tendulkar to play in six World Cups, further said she would decide on her cricketing future when the ’emotions will settled down’.

“I am not in… It would not be appropriate for me to comment on my future, considering that the sort of game that we just played and as emotions are still there,” added Raj.

“It needs to settle down before I could sort of have clarity on that and give an answer to that.”

Raj made her international debut in 1999 and has so far played 231 ODIs, 12 Tests and 89 T20Is for India. In ODIs, she has scored 7737 runs – a record that stands tall in women’s cricket.

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