Mithali Raj to be conferred with Khel Ratna Award

Teams don't take us lightly anymore: Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj. © Getty Images

India skipper Mithali Raj will be bestowed with the country's highest sporting honour - the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award this year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had recommended Mithali along with men's cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin for the award earlier in June 2021. She will be the first women cricketer to be awarded the honour.

The 38-year-old have represented India for 22 years and will be leading the team in the ODI World Cup that is scheduled to be played in New Zealand in February 2022.

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Mithali has played 12 Tests, 220 ODIs and 89 T20Is and has amassed 10454 runs across formats for India. She also holds the record of playing the most number of matches as captain (143), highest Test individual score (214), and most runs in the ODI format. In 2021, Mithali has scored 503 runs in 11 matches, averaging 62.87, including 6 half-centuries.

She led the Indian team to the final of the ODI World Cup twice - in 2005 and 2017. The first time, India lost to Australia in the final held at Centurion, South Africa, while England got hold of the trophy in 2017.

The Government of India conferred Mithali with the Arjuna Award in 2003 and the Padma Shri award in 2015.