I Rama Kasande( Under -19 Maharashtra State Cricket) team will take you through my journey.
Early part of my journey
I was born and brought up in Pune. My father works as Director Corporate Relations and my mother is self-employed. Initially, I started playing cricket with boys in my society.
I was the only girl that time who used to play cricket in my society. It was always an inspiration for me to watch Sachin Tendulkar playing for India.
Learning of life –
I am introvert by nature. Cricket helped me to express my feeling through my game. Everyone wants individual performance to be excellent, but in a team game you always have to keep the team as the first priority. Whenever my team won, I never felt bad even if my performance in that match may have been below par, as team work is more important.
In the game, there were times when I was under immense pressure and I had to perform well. Unless you are not confident about yourself, you cannot perform well.
My first trial –
I had little knowledge about the women’s cricket team initially.
When I was in 9th standard, my coach informed me about under 19 trials for selection. My coach and friends wished that I should try for the Maharashtra team, although I was not sure about myself.
I was initially shortlisted amongst the 30 probables. This boosted my confidence. Thereafter there were 2 practice cum selection matches. I performed well in them and was selected for under 19 Maharashtra team.
My struggle –
When I got selected for the Maharashtra team under 19, it was a dream come true but initially I did not get a chance in playing 11.
I never lost hope. I started working hard on my basics and fitness. After 2years, I made my debut for the team in the playing 11.
Parents Support –
My parents always supported and encouraged me in my studies as well as sports. During my 11th standard, it was getting tough to balance my sports and studies due to the distance between the school, practice ground, gym and coaching centre. My coaching class and cricket practice timing used to clash.
Most of the time I had to sacrifice my one hour training for the coaching classes. I was not able to manage both at that time and I barely scored a first class in the 11th class. Then my father decided to shift in different location where I could get all the facilities easily.
In October and November 2017, I went out for the two months practice camp in Dhule. We used to practice full day. I enjoyed every bit of the practice and got to learn many things. Playing for 2 months at a stretch was a good experience although it was mentally and physically tiring. This developed my game. However, my XII science exams were coming up and I was a bit anxious about the same as well. I am thankful to my parents for fully supporting me in my journey.
My motivation –
My coaches Pawan Kulkarni Sir, Hemant Kinikar and Sonia Dabir were the ones who developed me as a player. They ensured my basics were in place and thus laid the foundation of my technique and temperament. I owe it to them. My trainer Mansi was a source of motivation in the later part of my journey. She focused on improving my fitness. She used to say always, if you are fit, you will play well.
The cricketer who inspires me amongst the many girls, was the captain of my team Devika Vaidya, who now plays for India Women cricket team. The way she used to conduct herself and handle the team was motivating. I am a left hand batsman and so is she. I got to learn many things just by watching her play.
In our busy schedule we never get chance to take care of our health and fitness. There are certain rules that I followed to stay healthy.
I always had the right amount of food and avoided over eating or under eating.
I always had a fixed timing for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I strictly avoided junk food and flavoured drinks.
My Future goals –
In every sports person’s life, a situation comes when he/she has to choose one path either sports or studies. Now, I am done with my 12th exams and I am hoping that I will secure good grades.
I have to now choose between professional cricket and studies. Career options are opening up in women cricket as well. However, I did speak to my teachers, friends and family about my dilema.
After a long thought, I have chosen to prioritise academics over professional cricket as a career.
I don’t want to leave cricket in my life because this game is my passion. In a game of cricket there are other professionals too who are part of the game directly or indirectly, for e.g. trainer, video analyst, scorer, umpire, etc. I am also good in technical aspects of the game and use technology a lot. In the future I would love to do video analysis so that I will be always connected to cricket and use my knowledge of engineering in the game.
Last year Indian women cricket team gave a major boost to all the girlsfinding career in cricket by reaching to the semi finals of the women’s world cup. This tournament was a milestone in the evolution of women’s cricket in India. I feel many young girls like me will take the game further.
I am also very thankful to mykhelbookfor approaching me for my journey and helping out several sportspersons out there in fulfilling their dreams.
I am Shweta Singh, Director and CEO at Kirola Sports Private Limited. I am a sports and fitness enthusiast and have played three sports at National level including Basketball, High jump ,Taekwondo .I also started training in Mixed Martial Arts last year . I always knew that health ,fitness and motivation are pillar of success for every individual. Mykhelbook team will help you to stay fit and healthy through our blogs . We also aim to motivate you all through motivational stories of lesser known people ,about their struggles and achievements through our blogs .