Mithali Raj hints at coming out of retirement for the inaugural women’s IPL

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In a freewheeling chat with former England star Isa Guha and New Zealand off-spinner Frankie Mackay in ICC’s 100% Cricket podcast, the recently retired Mithali Raj hinted that she might consider coming out of retirement if she gets a chance to take part in the inaugural women’s IPL.

When asked if she would come out of retirement to play the women’s IPL, Raj said, “I’m keeping that option open. I’ve not yet decided. There are a few more months to go before the women’s IPL happens. It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women’s IPL.”

Talking about the next generation of talent, Raj was all praise for Shafali Verma, saying “I have been a big fan of her game. I have seen that she’s one player who has the ability to win the game single-handedly for India against any attack and any team. She is one of those players that you get to see probably once in a generation.”

“When I saw Shafali in a domestic match when she played against Indian Railways, she scored a fifty but I could see a glimpse of a player who could change the entire match just with her innings. And when she played for Velocity in the first edition of the Challenger Trophy, she played for my team and I saw that she has the ability and the raw power that you rarely get to see at that age to clear the boundary and hit a six at will,” she said.

On retirement, she said, “I thought it would slow down my lifestyle, in the sense that I don’t have to plan my day, week or next series.”

Raj was down with Covid soon after she announced her retirement and after recovering, she went all in to promote her biopic Shabaash Mithu, which released earlier this month.

“So far it is as hectic as it has been, there’s no change to my lifestyle yet. Maybe when all these things die down, I’d probably feel the difference of what it is post-retirement,” Raj added.

Last month, Raj announced her retirement and released a statement on social media, saying: “Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end. Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket.”

She ended her 23-year international career with 7805 ODI runs in 232 matches, at an average just over 50. She also scored 2364 runs in 89 T20Is, as well as 699 runs in 12 Tests, including a century and four half-centuries.





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