Mithali Raj has been the first Indian batter to score 10,000 runs in women’s international cricket, and just the second overall. Raj hit the landmark with a flicked boundary off Anne Bosch’s bowling in the third One-Day International against South Africa on Friday.
Raj was bowled off the next ball, meaning she’ll have to wait a little longer to hit another big milestone: she’s now 26 runs away from being the first batter in women’s ODI history to reach 7000 runs. Charlotte Edwards of England is a distant second on the list, with 5992 ODI runs to her name.
Edwards, by the way, is the only other woman to cross the 10,000-run mark in international cricket. In a career that lasted from 1996 to 2016, she hit 10,273 home runs. Raj’s career has lasted even longer. She made her India debut in an ODI against England in Lucknow in June 1999, and has since played 10 Tests, 212 ODIs, and 89 T20Is. She has 663 Test runs with an average of 51.00, 6974 ODI runs with an average of 50.53, and 2364 T20I runs with an average of 37.52.
“When you’ve been playing for a long time, you’re bound to reach some milestones. And this is just one of them,” Raj said following the game. “I think continuity has always been the answer for me.” I’ve always believed in scoring runs every time I step out to bat, regardless of whether I’m playing domestic or international cricket.
“Every chance I get to bat has to be taken,” she says. “It has given me a lot of experience and exposure to work on my game over the years, with the evolving standards of women’s cricket and to remain important on the international circuit.”
Smriti Mandhana, India’s opener, spoke to the media ahead of the third ODI about the importance of Raj hitting the milestone.
“It’s a big deal to get to 10,000 runs first or second,” Mandhana said. “She is the first Indian woman to do so, and I believe it demonstrates her consistency in her career. We have always looked up to her, which is a very proud feeling for the whole team.”