“Cricket is not a game of 4’s and 6’s. It’s a game of 1’s and 2’s” – ICF – 121


J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, firstly tell us about yourself and your early memories of this sport?

I have always been very active since childhood. I used to play with my brother and neighbourhood boys since I was in 2nd grade. After returning from school, we had to complete our homework to go out to play in the evening. Playing cricket for 1-1.5 hours seemed the goal of life at that point of life. “Roz utho, school jao, padho, aur phir cricket khelne jao”- Inner peace.

Broken slippers, lost balls, scold from neighbours for hitting the ball on their windows so many memories with it. I always thought of playing professional cricket but due to shifting of school and places, I couldn’t. Although I continued playing Gully Cricket till 12th grade. One day, when I was playing, an uncle saw me playing and advised me to join a cricket academy. I was in 12th, I couldn’t do much about it at that time but I started searching academies where I can complete graduation along with playing (obviously you couldn’t find those haha). So, my 12th board’s result was announced, by that time I decided to do B.sc. from Delhi University. While I was waiting for cut off lists, one day I got a pamphlet in a newspaper about an academy opening in a nearby school. Dude I got excited. Like I had two months before going to college and I got the best way to spend my summer. I immediately went to get admission and I spent 2 months learning from my hometown academy.

Then in July, I had to move to Delhi for college. Damn, I regret choosing that DU college where they didn’t even have a girls cricket team. I spent two months searching for an academy near my college so that I can manage both college and academy. Finally, I found one and luckily they had a 100% scholarship for the first ten girls joining their academy. Academy was open for four days a week, so for other days, I used to practice with the college’s cricket team. I even used to play an inter-department tournament where I got a place to play in the team.

J – How does it feel playing professional cricket through a Cricket Academy?

Firstly I feel very lucky that my family supports me and allow me to play. I practice among boys of U-16 and some over 19  age group too. Practising with boys is always a + point as the U-16 level of boys is equivalent to U-23 or U-19 women’s cricket of state level. It feels good competing with them. I have played about 35-40 practice matches in which only 6 I have played with the all-girls team.

For the last one year, I have been at home due to pandemic. In this one year, I couldn’t practice for about 8 months. I lost too much of my time due to covid.

Obviously playing a sport is always good for your health and for me it’s a stress buster. I forget about everything when I am in the academy. Cricket is more than just a sport for me.

J – Having played professional cricket, what is the biggest learning experience, to date?

Our coach always tells us to stay on the wicket, runs will keep coming automatically because Cricket is a game of patience, you have to value your wicket and just stay on the crease.

Cricket is not a game of 4’s and 6’s. It’s a game of 1’s and 2’s. Virat Kohli is the best example of this.

J – Tell us about Women’s Cricket in India in the present scenario.

It’s has been improving since the 2017 cricket world cup.
Our women in blue have been performing exceptionally well from the past three years in ICC tournaments although we lost many KOs too.

BCCI being the richest board have done very less for Women’s Cricket imo. We have been seeing CA organising Women’s T20 tournaments (WBBL) since 2007 and in India in the name of Women’s IPL we just have four matches.
I hope they do something about this too.

J – Who were your favourite Women Cricketers growing up?

Honestly speaking I had no idea there was a Women’s team till I was like 12. Because I never saw any women’s match being broadcasted. I started following Women’s cricket from the 2017 World Cup.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Smrti Mandhana are my favourites.

J – Apart from playing cricket, you also meme about it, tell us about your meme pages on Instagram and Twitter.

Ya, I really like everything about cricket. I started making cricket memes from IPL2020. And it turned out that cricket memes are the audience’s favourite. And you know how awesome Cricket Twitter is haha.

I enjoy making memes, sometime normal trolls and people get offended easily. I had a page on Instagram which is now disabled. I had an awesome reach on cricket memes. I enjoyed the whole Border Gavaskar Trophy with my Instagram and Twitter audience and it has been so much fun being attached to them with the help of memes.

J – Did you ever copy any particular batsmen’s stance and tried to replicate it during your training sessions?

Yes, these things we use to do during training sessions. MSD’s helicopter shot always tops the list although we couldn’t actually replicate it (needs a lot of practice, A LOTTTTT).

Also in our practice matches, we used to copy Labuschagne’s “No runnnnnnn” for fun. Oh God, we enjoy that call too much.

J – Any fond on-field memories you would like to share, where you played an exceptional knock or took a brilliant catch or something?

I never actually played a big tournament or something but played many practice matches with the academy or inter academy teams. In five innings, I got out in the 30s and 40s.

Recently during INDvENG 1st test, we kinda played our own test match of three days where I scored 47(110) in 1st innings which I think I played well. Although my team collapse after that.

But that doesn’t matter we always get to learn and improve from these matches and I realised I have the patience to stay on the wicket for long.

J – Which is your favourite shot while batting?

I love playing cover drives. God, who doesn’t. It is soothing to watch, plus it shows your class.

Thank you so much for reading. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss out on any cricket related interviews.

Twitter – @bhavsarJ2_0
Instagram – @bhavsarj2_0 @icf2_0

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