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  • Koel Addepalli

The Queen of Indian Cricket

I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you reading this don't know who Mithali Raj is, but I am sure that every single one of you is well versed with the tales of Sachin Tendulkar. Whenever the Men’s Cricket World Cup is on, the world comes together and watches every match, rooting for their beloved country. Everyone will be awaiting the moment someone gets bowled out or someone hits a six, but no one ever talks about the fact that the Women’s World Cup is being held and our own country is taking part.

Mithali Raj, one of the legends of cricket, began playing the sport at the age of 10. In 1999, she was selected in the Indian cricket team. She brilliantly scored a century (114 runs precisely) in her very first international match!

Raj holds several records in international cricket. She is the only female cricketer to surpass the 7000 run mark in Women's One Day International Matches. She is the first player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs.

In 2005, Raj proceeded to become the permanent captain of the Indian women’s cricket team. She has managed to break several records and is a legendary right-handed batswoman, but yet, everyone refers to her as ‘Lady Sachin Tendulkar’. She addressed this matter and said,

“It is always an honour to be referred to as Lady Sachin Tendulkar. But do not get me wrong, my point is, why must we compare men’s and women’s games at all?”

This statement describes a long history of men and women being compared for their separate achievements. We need to start noticing a woman achiever as a separate individual and not as someone in the shadow of a male-achiever.

During an interview, a reporter asked Mithali Raj who her favourite male cricketer was, and she replied by asking, “Do you ask a male cricketer who his favourite female cricketer is?”

This brought a smile to my face. She could have talked about her favourite male cricketer, but instead she used the opportunity to address the fact that most people prioritise male sports over female’s. What women do and what men do are both of equal importance.

Mithali Raj has proven that it's not only men who can break records, it’s women as well. Raj retired from all forms of international cricket after 21 years of playing professionally. It was the end of an era.


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