My Story: I Was The Only Girl Amongst 100 Other Boys In The Camp
“Since my childhood I used to go to Mulund Gymkhana for gymnastics. One day, few boys were playing Cricket and someone hit the ball in my direction, I picked up the ball and threw it back. Surve Sir, the head of the gymkhana, saw this and called me. He asked me if I play Cricket. I said ‘no’. ‘The way you threw the ball… girls don’t throw it that way’, he said.
Next day, he called my father… they spoke… and I was enrolled in the Cricket camp. I was 11 then.
I was the only girl amongst 100 other boys in the camp. Initially, I was very shy. I remember… one day, we were doing fielding practice, and this boy was throwing the ball really fast at me. I was catching it. The more I caught, the faster he threw. But I kept catching even though it hurt me. Finally, he got tired and gave up. Our coach, Nitin Sir, was watching all this, he came and told that boy not to repeat it ever again, and at the same time praised me for my fielding. After that day, the boys started feeling shy of me.
Because I played with the boys, my fielding improved a lot. Even today, it is my asset. The good thing is, none of my coaches ever told me not to do a certain thing because I am a girl. On the contrary, they always pushed me to do more.
When I was in 10th, I got picked to play in U19 Mumbai Girls Cricket Team. It was academically also an important year. But playing in the big league was not something I was going to give up on. I played hard and studied even harder. Finally, I secured 95% in my SSC board examination. In 2012/13, I played the Nationals and represented Mumbai Team nationally. We, the Mumbai Team, won that year. After the match, Mitali Raj, the Indian captain gifted me her gloves. It was the happiest moment of my life. After that for 3 years I’ve represented Mumbai.
I have to mention… my parents, especially my father, has been extremely supportive. Balancing between college studies and cricket is tough. But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their support.
I just wish… girls’ cricket gets the same importance, media attention and glamour as Mens’ version of the game gets in our country. After all, we too sweat as much as they do in the middle, don’t we?”