Often compared to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar for her on-field exploits, Mithali Raj is one name which needs no introduction in the world of cricket. The 35-year old cricketer is no less than a legend or a personage when it comes to women’s cricket. She is currently the leading run-scorer in women’s ODI cricket with 6373 runs against her name in 194 matches. Her impressive average of 50.18 in the ODI format can easily give any star Indian male cricketer a run for his money.
But, the Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali didn’t want to be a cricket at first and the gentlemen’s game was not her first love. While sharing some never heard before facts from her life on the popular web series – “Breakfast with Champions”, Mithali admitted that she wanted to be a dancer and it was her father’s decision to put her into the cricket.
Speaking to the show host Gaurav Kapur, Raj revealed this fact about during the show. “It was my dad’s decision to put me into cricket and of course my mother did not want me to be a cricketer. She wanted me to be a dancer. I started to dance much before I got into cricket and it was something of my own choice. I wanted to be a dancer.”
During the 2017 Women’s World Cup in England, the Jodhpur-born batswoman etched her name into the history books as she became the highest run-getter in women’s ODI. She also boasts of 50 half-centuries and six centuries in the 50-over format.
“I enrolled myself and then cricket happened because of various reasons. My parents had to face a lot of challenges. Coming from a south Indian family, cricket was nowhere and no one played sport in my family and for my grandparents to expect that their granddaughter plays cricket with boys was difficult,” the star batswoman further added.
During the chat, Mithali also confessed the fact that she doesn’t prefer playing the shorter format of the game – T20I cricket. But, the scarcity of Test matches in the women’s cricket influenced her decision to play the slam-bang version of the game.
In the T20I format, Mithali became the first Indian to notch 2000 runs during last month’s Women’s Asia Cup in Malaysia. She surpassed even the likes of Virat Kohli en route the stupendous achievement. In her 19-year long international career, Mithali has just played 10 Test matches. She is the only Indian to score a double century and also the youngest women international cricketer to score a double hundred in cricket’s most pristine format.
During the interview, Raj also spoke about another veteran cricketer – Jhulan Goswami who is also hailed as another legend of women’s cricket. Goswami is the leading wicket-taker in 50-overs format and is the only bowler with 200 plus wickets in women’s cricket.
Mithali revealed that it is Jhulan who picks up the morale of the team when the chips are down.
Watch the whole interview here:-