Mount Maunganui: One of the game’s finest servants, India captain Mithali Raj on Sunday became only the third cricketer and the first woman to appear in six World Cups, joining the iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistani great Javed Miandad.

She achieved the feat as India locked horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their much-anticipated opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup at the Bay Oval here.

Raj, a 39-year-old veteran of many memorable matches, had made her maiden World Cup appearance in 2000, before playing the event in 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017 and now in 2022.

In the women’s game, the Indian batter surpassed former New Zealand cricketer Debbie Hockley and Charlotte Edwards of England.

Fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, Raj’s India teammate for the longest time, stands second on the list with five World Cup appearance.

Tendulkar, the holder of innumerable batting records, is the only Indian cricketer apart from Raj to feature in six World Cups, starting from 1992 to the triumphant campaign in 2011.

Earlier in the day, India won the toss and opted to bat.

India have an unbeaten record against Pakistan in women’s ODIs, winning all their 10 matches, with three of those being in World Cups.

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