From struggling for meals to playing at Lord’s: Rajeshwari Gayakwad charts her path to glory

From struggling for meals to playing at Lord’s: Rajeshwari Gayakwad charts her path to glory

Written by Rahul Sadhu
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Up to date: July 1, 2020 8:59:50 pm


Rajeshwari Gayakwad has taken 67 wickets in 40 ODIs and 35 wickets in 28 T20Is. (Supply: AP Photograph)

Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s rise to the highest from the bylanes of Bijapur has been one stuffed with guts, glory, and sacrifice. Embracing the 22 yards was not her first selection as she initially tried her hand at javelin and discus throw. Earlier than taking on cricket, the left-arm orthodox spinner was additionally part of the junior volleyball district staff.

It was her father Shivanand, a authorities major college trainer, who backed her and inspired her to take up cricket professionally. Although she comes from a household of 5 siblings, the burden of obligations by no means deterred her from the trail to success as she accomplished all of the challenges, inside and outdoors the sphere, with ease.

On January 19, 2014, Gayakwad turned the primary girl cricketer from the Bijapur district in Karnataka to get chosen within the Indian nationwide ladies’s cricket staff.

Recalling her journey, Gayakwad in an interplay with the stated, “There have been lots of monetary points at residence after I started taking part in cricket and at instances it felt like I wouldn’t have the ability to play the sport for lengthy. Cash is vital on this sport as a result of it’s good to purchase kits or a bat and that doesn’t come low cost.”

“So sure it was an extended onerous tussle.”

Rajeshwari moved to Bangalore after Class 12 to finish her commencement. “After I attended camps in Bangalore, generally it could get troublesome to rearrange meals or have meals,” she recollected earlier than including, “However just one factor was there in my thoughts — to apply onerous and do effectively for the state.”

Girls’s cricket — Then and Now

“After I started taking part in, lots of the women joined the camp in our district (virtually 200) however most of them couldn’t proceed. Bijapur is a small district, and it lacked amenities and grounds. A lot of these ladies belonged to a middle-class background and needed to depart the sport attributable to an absence of monetary stability and help from the household. Even proper now there would hardly be just a few ladies who will usually apply there,” stated the 29-year-old.

“However on a nationwide stage, the state of affairs has improved and if a household helps the kid then I’m certain any lady can go a great distance.”

“Now ladies need to go on the market and show themselves. They’ve a burning want to do effectively and that has lifted ladies’s cricket significantly. Financially, we’re stronger as effectively, not as similar because the boys, however significantly better than earlier than,” she added.

Position of captain Harmanpreet Kaur

Harry di as Gayakwad fondly calls the Indian captain has been instrumental in conserving the ladies in blue glued collectively. Hailing from a small city in Punjab, Harmanpreet Kaur is aware of the difficulties {that a} small-town lady may face and ensures they really feel snug the second they step into the dressing room.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Harmanpreet Kaur share a powerful bond. (Supply: AP)

“She personally goes and talks to the children and retains them motivated,” stated Gayakwad.

When requested about one distinction with former skipper Mithali Raj, Gayakwad smiles and says, “Mithali may be very calm and funky on the bottom and by no means shouts on the sphere. If she has to say one thing, then she’s going to come to the staff assembly and discuss it. Harry di is aggressive and might’t cease herself. She speaks proper on the spur of the second.”

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