India veteran Mithali Raj could bring down curtains on her T20 International career after the home series against England but continue to captain the One-day International side, PTI reported.
While India’s three-match T20 series against New Zealand starts in Wellington on Wednesday, it is still not clear whether Mithali will be a part of the playing XI. Even if picked, the report stated that the 36-year-old will not continue beyond the three-match T20 series against England, starting March 4 in Assam’s Barsapara Stadium.
“Mithali understands that skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will like to concentrate on building a team for the 2020 World T20 and that she is unlikely to feature in that tournament,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying PTI.
“But a player of her stature should get a warm send-off and that is likely to be against England,” the official added.
There are indications that Mithali may not be selected in all the matches against the White Ferns and she has been made aware by a senior official in the team management. It is understood that Mithali can read the writing on the wall, and the board will give her chance to retire on her own terms from the shortest format.
“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 added.
Mithali’s place in the T20 side has been under scanner due to her below-par strike-rate and waning fielding abilities. India made the bold move to drop Mithali for the World T20 semi-final against England.
The ouster from playing XI led to a public spat with Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji, whom she accused of trying to “finish her career” along with interim chief coach Ramesh Powar.
Powar didn’t get an extension in his role and WV Raman was appointed coach before the New Zealand series. Mithali has scored 2283 runs from 85 T20 Internationals with a highest score of 97 and has 17 half-centuries to her credit.