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Mithali Raj likely to retire from T20Is after England series in March

She couldn't make it to the playing XI again in the first T20I against New Zealand.

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Team India veteran Mithali Raj is likely to call it quits from the shortest format of the game next month after the home series against England. She is currently in New Zealand and led India to another series win against the home side in the ODIs. However, Mithali has been left out of the playing XI for the first T20I in Wellington and it seems that the experienced batter is looking to move on with the team being built for the T20 World Cup 2020.

A huge controversy arose when Mithali wasn’t the part of the World T20 semi-final line-up against England last year. Moreover, her feud with the then coach Ramesh Powar turned ugly when the emails she sent to the BCCI were leaked in the public. The matter has been resolved with the new coach being appointed and Mithali wants to hand over the baton to the next generation in the T20 Internationals.

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“Mithali understands that skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will like to concentrate on building a team for the [T20World Cup in 2020] and that she is unlikely to feature in that tournament. But a player of her stature should get a warm send-off, and that is likely to be against England,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by India Today.

Still unsure if she will play the whole series

England Women are all set to tour India later this month for three ODIs and as many T20Is. While there is still n question over Mithali Raj’s place in the 50-over format, her T20I career is certainly nearing the end it seems. With her place in the team also in question as she once again hasn’t made it to the playing XI in New Zealand, Raj herself has understood that the writing is on the wall for her. Even the BCCI is also in favour of giving her a chance to retire on her own terms.

“It is still not sure whether she would like to play the full series against England or like former men’s team pacer Ashish Nehra, play the first game of the series and retire,” the official further added. Mithali has amassed 2,283 runs in 85 T20 Internationals with as many as 17 half-centuries and boasts the highest score of 97.

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