NEW DELHI: Indian women’s cricket star Mithali Raj announced Tuesday his retirement from Twenty20 International to focus on the one-day World Cup in 2021.
The 36-year-old Raj, the top scorer in the women’s international game, made a surprise start after she was available for the local series selection against South Africa starting September 24.
“After representing India in T20 internationals since 2006, I want to retire from T20Is to focus my energies on preparing for the 2021 One-Day World Cup,” Raj said in a statement from the Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) .
“It is still my dream to win a World Cup for my country and I want to do my best.”
“I thank the BCCI for their continued support and I wish the Indian T20 team good luck as they prepare for the series at home against South Africa Women.”
Raj, who led India in 32 T20 games, including three World Cups, has scored 2,364 races in 89 games since 2006 and is the first Indian to reach the 2,000 race milestone in the shortest format.
The first-order hitter has accumulated 6,720 runs in 203 ODI games since her international debut in 1999.
Raj led India to the 2017 Women’s World Cup final just to lose the title to England. New Zealand will host the 2021 edition of more than 50 pieces.
His place in the T20 team was in doubt after he was out of the team in the loss in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup last year against England, which caused a high-profile line with the team’s staff.
Raj hit 30 undefeated 32 balls in his last T20 outing against England in March.