For over a decade and a half since then, Mithali Raj has become a name synonymous with the sport in the country. She made the tough choice of giving up on her passion - dance.
Admittedly forced into the game by a strict disciplinarian father, Mithali's many sacrifices bore fruit when at 19, playing just her third Test, she surpassed Karen Rolton's 209* with her 214 to set the new record of best individual score (now second-highest) in the longest format.
We can say that Bharatnatayam's loss is cricket's gain. She has recently made it at number 13 in the Lord’s Top 20 Players of 2017 list.
She has also been awarded with the Arjuna Award, Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award, Vogue Sportsperson of the Year Award and the Padma shri.
Mithali is nicknamed "Tendulkar of Indian women's cricket", as she is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all formats, including Tests, ODIs and T20Is.
After Women's Cricket World Cup in 2017, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures acquired the rights to make a feature film on her life. She said "She is hoping that this movie inspires more people, especially young girls to take up sports as a career."
Mithali Dorai Raj born on 3 December 1982 is an Indian cricketer and the captain of the Indian Women's cricket team in Tests and ODI. Often regarded as one of the greatest cricketing batters to have ever played the game, she is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in ODIs. She is the first player to score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs. Mithali is the first captain (men or women) to lead India to an ICC ODI World Cup final twice in 2005 and 2017.
Splendid 114 not out was quite a telling statement made by a 16-year-old ODI debutant overlooked for the country's World Cup about a year ago. She is the youngest female cricketer to score a hundred on her ODI debut.