Sweeping aside all the controversies and negativity, India’s ace batswoman Mithali Raj celebrated her 36th birthday while doing what she knows the best – playing cricket. Mithali, who turned 36 on Monday has been in the news for ugly reasons in regards to her infamous spat with ex-India women’s team coach Ramesh Powar. The controversy erupted when Mithali was dropped from India’s playing xi during the high-octane semi-final clash against England during the Women’s World T20.

Since then, various experts, critics and fans have expressed their opinions on the ever-growing controversy. Despite all the debate, cricket fans and some renowned cricketers wished Mithali on her special day and paid their tributes and wishes to India’s leading run scorer.

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Overwhelmed by the support, Mithali took to her official Instagram handle to express her gratitude towards the fans for wishing her on her birthday and extending their unflinching support towards her. She wrote, “Spent my birthday doing what I love – on the field, playing a good game of cricket.”

“Thank you, everyone, for all your wonderful wishes! It was emotional, overwhelming, the kind of love I’ve gotten, not just yesterday but over the last few weeks. You unflinching support gives me strength and is the best gift I’ve received.”

Earlier, Mithali wrote a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri and GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim soon after returning from the World T20. She wrote about head coach Powar and Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji’s for discriminating her and showing biases while dealing with her.

Recently, the BCCI released an advertisement for candidates to apply for the post of Indian women cricket team’s head coach to succeed Powar. However, Indian T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and player Smriti Mandhana have requested BCCI to let Powar continue his job as they feel that the former Indian cricketer has changed the attitude in players and team’s structure since taking over.

Following the spat between Powar and Mithali, the BCCI chose not to renew the former’s contract that ended just after India’s campaign at the Women’s World T20 ended.