Mithali Dorai Raj (born 3 December 1982) is an Indian cricketer and the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team in Tests
and ODI. Often regarded as one of the greatest batswomen to have ever played the game, she is the highest run-scorer in
women’s international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in WODIs. She is the first player to
score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs. Raj also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs.
Raj is the only player (male or female) to have captained India in more than one ICC ODI World Cup final, doing so twice in
2005 and 2017.
Mithali Raj was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan on 3 December 1982 to a Tamil family. Her father is Dorai Raj, who was an Airman
(Warrant Officer) in the Indian Air Force, and mother is Leela Raj. Mithali started to play the game at the age of 10 and at the
age of 17, she was picked for the Indian team. She is a Tamilian. She lives in Hyderabad, Telangana. She attended Keyes
High School for Girls in Secunderabad. After this she attended Kasturba Gandhi Junior College for Women in West
Marredpally (Secunderabad) for her intermediate studies. She started cricket coaching in her school days along with her elder
brother. Mithali practised at school, often playing with male cricketers in the nets.
Raj has played both Test and One Day International cricket for India’s women’s cricket team.She was named among the
probables in the 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup when she was just 14, but couldn’t make it to the final squad. She made her
One Day International debut in 1999 against Ireland at Milton Keynes and scored unbeaten 114 runs. She made her Test debut
in the 2001–02 season against South Africa at Lucknow. On 17 August 2002, at the age of 19, in her third Test, she broke Karen
Rolton’s record of world’s highest individual Test score of 209*, scoring a new high of 214 against England in the second and
final Test at County Ground, Taunton. The record has since been surpassed by Kiran Baluch of Pakistan who scored 242
against West Indies in March 2004.
Mithali was taken ill with a strain of typhoid during the CricInfo Women’s World Cup in 2002, seriously hampering India’s
progress. However, she then led them to their first World Cup final in 2005, in South Africa, where they met Australia who
proved just too strong. In August 2006, she led the side to their first ever Test and Series victory in England and wrapped up
the year winning the Asia Cup – the second time in 12 months – without dropping a single game.
She led the Indian team to the finals in the 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup where the team lost to Australia. She is a part-
time leg-break bowler as well. She is a recipient of the Arjuna award for the year 2003. She currently tops the batting table with
703 ratings. Her composure when at the crease and ability to score briskly make her a dangerous cricketer. In addition to her
ability with the bat, Mithali rolls her arm over bowling leg-spinners and providing variety to the attack.
At the 2013 Women’s World Cup, Mithali Raj was the No.1 Cricketer in the ODI chart among women. She scored 100s: 1 and
50s: 4 in Test cricket, 100s: 5 and 50s: 40 with best bowling of 3/4 in ODI’s and 50s: 10 in T20’s.
in February 2017, she became the second player to make 5,500 runs in WODIs. Raj most matches captained player for India
in ODI and T20I.
In July 2017, she became the first player to make 6,000 runs in WODIs. She led the Indian team to the final of the 2017
Women’s Cricket World Cup where the team lost to England by nine runs.
In December 2017, she was named as one of the players in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year.
Playing for Railways in the domestic competition, Mithali began by playing with stars like Purnima Rau, Anjum Chopra and Anju
Jain for Air India.
Raj at the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Mithali Raj held the record for the highest individual score by an Indian Woman Cricketer in a World Cup match (91 not out
off 104 deliveries which included 9 fours) against New Zealand in Women’s World Cup 2005. Harmanpreet Kaur overtook
Mithali Raj by scoring a century (107 from 109 balls) in second match of ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 against England.
Mithali is nicknamed “Tendulkar of Indian women’s cricket”, as she is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all
formats, including Tests, ODIs and T20Is.
During the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, Raj scored her seventh consecutive half-century and made a record for most
consecutive fifties by a player.
Mithali Raj also is the 1st Indian & 5th woman cricketer overall to score over 1,000 World Cup runs.
She also holds the record for playing the most consecutive Women’s One Day Internationals for a team (109).
In popular culture
After Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures acquired the rights to make a feature film on her life. She
said “Hoping that this movie inspires more people, especially young girls to take up sports as a career.”
Awards and honors
Year Award Notes
2003 Arjuna Award
2015 Padma Shri India’s fourth highest civilian award
2017 Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award At the Radiant Wellness Conclave, Chennai
2017 Vogue Sportsperson of the Year At the Vogue’s 10th Anniversary
2017 BBC 100 Women list 2017
Women’s International Centuries
Women’s ODI Centuries
Mithali Raj’s One Day International centuries
# Runs Match Sixes Fours Opponents City/Country Venue Year
1 114* 1 Ireland Milton Keynes, England Campbell Park 1999
2 108* 66 0 7 Sri Lanka Karachi, Pakistan National Stadium 2006
3 109* 114 0 12 West Indies Rajkot, India Madhavrao Scindia Cricket
4 103* 145 1 13 Pakistan Cuttack, India Barabati Stadium 2013
5 104* 148 2 8 Sri Lanka Visakhapatnam, India Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara
Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium 2014
6 109 184 0 11 New Zealand Derby, England County Ground 2017
Women’s Test Centuries
Mithali Raj’s Test centuries
# Runs Sixes Fours Match Opponents City/Country Venue Year
1 214 0 19 3 England Taunton, England County Ground, Taunton 2002