Actor Taapsee Pannu on Wednesday said Mithali Raj, who announced her retirement from all forms of international cricket after a two-decade-long illustrious career, will be remembered as an inspiring figure.
Raj, one of the greatest female cricketers to have played the game, ended her glorious career with a record 7805 runs in 232 ODIs. She also represented India in 12 Tests and 89 T20 Internationals.
Pannu, who plays Raj in her upcoming biopic "Shabaash Mithu", credited the 39-year-old for being an inspiring figure.
"There are cricketers who have records under their name. There are cricketers who have tremendous fan following. There are cricketers who inspire you and make you believe that if they can so can you! And then there's Mithali who did all of this in her classic graceful style and also changed the game of cricket where the presence of women is concerned," Pannu said in a statement.
The actor said Raj's legacy will always be remembered, especially her contribution to women's cricket.
Pannu said she felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to play the cricketer in the film, which is expected to release in July.
"Not just in our country but she will be remembered for her contribution to women's cricket across the globe. I just got too fortunate as a fan who got to live her glorious journey of 23 years for a bit on camera which taught me so much about resilience and perseverance. She is truly a legend we can never thank enough," Pannu added.
Raj had already retired from the T20 format and her decision to stop playing all formats was expected after India's ODI World Cup campaign ended in March.
Directed by filmmaker Srijit Mukherji and written by Priya Aven, the film is a coming-of-age story of women's cricket in India and will chronicle the highs and lows, setbacks and moments of euphoria of Raj's life.