Indian women’s cricket legend Mithali Raj calls it a day
India’s greatest woman batter, Mithali Raj, capped her illustrious 23-year-long professional career by announcing retirement from international cricket on Wednesday, stating that the journey had been “most fulfilling”.
Mithali, who arrived on the international scene smashing 114 on debut at the age of 16, soon established herself as the mainstay of India batting. She went on to lead the side for most part of her illustrious career that also saw her captain the national side to two 50-over World Cup finals — the only one to do so in India, male or female.
Mithali, 39, announced her retirement on social media, posting a letter on twitter, which traced her more than two-decade-long journey.
“I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues, as representing your country is the highest honour. The journey was full of highs and some lows. Each event taught me something unique and the last 23 years have been the most fulfilling, challenging and enjoyable years of my life,” wrote Mithali, the highest run-getter in ODI cricket, having scored 7,805 runs in 232 games at an average of 50.68.
Mithali’s consistency was legendary as she ended up scoring seven ODI centuries, and a mind-boggling 64 half-tons in a career which had just seven ducks.
Legendary England cricketer Charlotte Edwards came a distant second to Mithali, with her nearly two-decade-long career fetching her 5,992 runs from 191 games at an average of 38.16.
Mithali did not let age come in the way as she continued to strive for the World Cup, but unfortunately her last campaign — in New Zealand this year — ended in India’s premature exit. There was speculation that Mithali would announce her retirement on return from New Zealand, but she preferred to delay it and finally called it quits on the eve of the big-tixket men’s T20I series between the KL Rahul-led India and South Africa.
“Like all journeys, this one too must come to an end. Today is the day I retire from all forms of international cricket. Each time I stepped on the field, I gave my very best with the intent to help India win. I will always cherish the opportunity given to me to represent the tricolour,” she said.
Mithali also scored 2,364 runs in 89 T20Is, as well as 699 runs in 12 Tests, including a century and four half-centuries. She also finishes as the No.7-ranked batter in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings.
“I feel now is the perfect time to call curtains on my playing career as the team is in the capable hands of some very talented young players and the future of Indian cricket is bright,” she said.
“I’d like to thank the BCCI and Shri Jay Shah Sir (Honorary Secretary, BCCI} for all the support I have received — first as a player and then as the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team,” added Mithali in her letter.
It was during the 2017 ODI World Cup that Mithali surpassed Edwards to become the highest run-scorer in ODIs and the first woman cricketer to score 6,000 runs in the format.
Mithali hinted that she would perhaps be open to coaching assignments or whatever role the Indian cricket board deemed suitable for a player of her calibre.
“It was an honour to have led the team for so many years. It definitely shaped me as a person and hopefully helped shape Indian women’s cricket as well. This journey may have ended but another one beckons as I’d love to stay involved in the game I love and contribute to the growth of women’s Cricket in India and world over.
“Special mention to all my fans, thank you for all your love and support,” she said.
‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League
Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.
Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.
In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:
“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”
Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:
Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:
“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”
With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.
Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier
Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.
PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.
Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.
“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”
Messi’s envious record
In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.
The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.
No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president
FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.
“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.
Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram
In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.
Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.
Striking gold, but in a different arena
- The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
- The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
- His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.
Competitive or short tempered?
- The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
- On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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