Bristol: Indian captain Mithali Raj on Wednesday created a world record by becoming the first player to cross 6000 runs in the history of women’s One-Day Internationals (ODIs) during the ICC World Cup match against Australia in Bristol.
The Indian team now have two current world record holders with pacer Jhulan Goswami being the leading wicket-taker in 50-over cricket. Against Australia, Mithali surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards’s 5992 runs when she reached 34, thereby becoming the highest scorer in ODIs.
The world record run came when she pushed an Ellyse Perry ball towards cover boundary for a single. The 6000-run milestone was achieved with a huge six off leg-break bowler Kirsten Beams as she received a standing ovation from the Indian bench. She was finally out for a sedate 69 off 114 balls. Mithali now has 6028 runs from 183 games.
The 34-year-old is by far the greatest ever woman cricketer to have emerged from India. Into her 15th year in international cricket, Mithali has been an inspiration for a generation of women cricketers, who have taken up the game solely inspired by her heady achievements. The Hyderabad girl and Goswami are the only two surviving players in the squad of 15, who have made their debut before the 2003 World Cup.
Mithali first shot into prominence when she scored 214—still the highest score by an Indian in women’s Test match against England at Taunton back in 2002. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting president C.K. Khanna congratulated the skipper on her achievement. “I on behalf of BCCI congratulate Mithali Raj, Indian women’s team captain on her spectacular achievement. Mithali Raj showed her class in her early days of International career by scoring century in her One-Day International debut in 1999. Mithali Raj has a record for most consecutive fifties by an international women cricketer," Khanna said.
In terms of achievements, Mithali is miles ahead of past greats such as Diana Edulji, Shanta Rangaswami and Anjum Chopra.