Mithali Raj: The 'sleepy' girl who changed Indian cricket forever

When legendary India batter Mithali Raj announced her retirement on Wednesday,

it not only brought an end to one of the most decorated careers in Indian cricket but also one of the most influential stints in the sport.

In a career spanning 23 years, Raj represented India 333 times across all formats,

 scored a world record 10,868 runs and became the first Indian captain to lead the country to two World Cup finals.

But the legacy she leaves behind goes well beyond mere numbers. The first woman to make it big in a predominantly male sport

she helped girls across the country nurture a dream.

"I set out as a little girl on the journey to wear the India blues as representing your country is the highest honour,"

 the 39-year-old Raj wrote on social media as she announced her retirement.