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    Dated : Monday, July 31, 2017
 

Portraying Inexorable Efforts & Undying Spirit Presenting Women in Blue: The Fighters

India, a cricket crazy nation, has another reason to cherish the game, i.e. the performance of ambitious and focused Indian Women Cricket Team. This team is a perfect example of relentless and dedicated efforts, strong will and equal opportunity. The players hail from different backgrounds with their own fights and stories. Only one thing that binds them together is their love for cricket. With the passage of time, they have re-invented and polished their skills.
We have Arjuna Awardees and Padma Shri Awardees in the team, who have also received numerous other accolades. Gradually, they are rising, leaving behind the social stigmas, myths, wrong conventions, & restrictions, only to explore their true self, and potential so they can bring glory to the nation. So what, if the Women in Blue couldn’t bag the World Cup 2017 this time? They did throw a tough competition to the opponent and showcased a finer performance. And, just like the spirit of Majuli, this team will rise with new colours and rejuvenated spirit, every time as usual - just like a Phoenix. Our love, wishes and support will keep them going. Let us know our team better.

Captain
From Bharatnatyam to Cricket
Mithali Dorai Raj, captain of the Indian Women's cricket team, is a dynamic player and motivator. She was born in Jodhpur, and currently staying in Hyderabad. Her mother tongue is Tamil. Mithali was a classical dancer. She practiced dance for eight years, but quit it as she chose cricket over dance. She started playing at the age of 10, seven years later, she was chosen for the Indian team. Her journey of cricket merely began due to her laziness. She was never interested in sports, but in the arts. 
This lazy bee used to wake up late in the morning, so her parents enrolled her in the cricket association. Thanks to her laziness then, she has now become the first Women Cricketer to score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs. She is the second highest scorer of Women's Test Cricket with 214 runs against England in the second and final tests in Taunton in 2002. During the 2013 Women's World Cup, Mithali starred as the No.1 Cricketer in the ODI chart with a score of 100s: 1 and 50s: 4 in Test cricket, 100s: 5 and 50s: 40 with best bowling of 3/4 in ODI's and 50s: 10 in T20's. In July 2017, she outweighed England's Charlotte Edwards (5992 runs) to become the highest run scorer in the Women's ODIs. Irony: Her relatives, including the grandparents, were dead against the game but her parents supported despite of stigma attacks. She is the recipient of Arjuna Award (2003) & Padma Shri (2015). Mithali also rolls her arm over bowling leg-spinners and providing variety to the attack.

 Jhulan Goswami
From football to Cricket
Jhulan Nishit Goswami, also known as Babul or Gozzy (as nicknames) is an all round cricketer born in Nadia, West Bengal. She plays for the India national women's cricket team, Bengal Women, East Zone Women and the Asia Women XI women's cricket. She is a right-handed batswoman who can also deliver a ball with right-arm medium fast approach - right arm capabilities. During the 2006-07 season, Jhulan guided the 
Indian team to their first test series win in England.
Jhulan was a football fan before she encountered her passion in cricket. The catalysts were: 1) 1992's Cricket World Cup, and 2) Belinda Clarke's victory lap after Australia versus New Zealand during the 1997 Women's World Cup final, live at the stadium. 
She took up cricket at the age of 15. Her parents wanted her to concentrate on studies, but this bookworm, yet movie freak, held her bat tight. She made her debut in ODI against England (2002), in Chennai, when she was 19. Her Test International debut was against England in January, 2002, in Lucknow. Her T20 debut  was in 2006, Derby. 
2008 was her year: 1) of captaincy (reigned for three years) and 2) she became the fourth woman to reach 100 wickets in ODIs at Asia Cup. She won the ICC Women's Player of the Year 2007 and the M.A. Chidambaram trophy for Best Women Cricketer (2011). In 2010 she was awarded the Arjun Award In 2012, she became second Indian women cricketer to receive Padma Shri after Diana Edulji.

 Harmanpreet Kaur
From Moga to World’s Highest Score in Knockout
Daughter of a volleyball and basketball player, Harmanpreet Kaur plays as a batter for the Indian women's cricket team. She started playing cricket after joining the Gian Jyoti School Academy (30 kilometres away from her home in Moga), where she trained under Kamaldeesh Singh Sodhi. As a kid, she would accompany her father to the Guru Nanak Stadium to play cricket with the local boys. This Virender Sehwag's fan, was also a part of the hockey and athletics teams at her Government School teams. She moved to Mumbai in 2014 where she began working for the Indian Railways. In June 2016, she became the first Indian cricketer to be signed by an overseas T20 franchise. 
Sydney Thunder, the Women's Big Bash League champions, signed her for the 2016-17 season. 
Harmanpreet holds the record for registering the highest ever women individual score in a knockout stage of a Women's World Cup match (171*) surpassing the previous record of 107* by Karen Rolton. Apart from batting and scoring, she supports the team by cooking them her newly learnt recipe, “Maggi”, to lighten up their camps.

 Veda Krishnamurthy
An Entertainer too!
It’s neither too late to forget those dance moves that Veda Krishnamurthy was performing with the captain during the final of the Women's Cricket World Cup, Derby, nor we are falling short of memory to remember her cricket performance. This simple-at-heart lass from Karnataka seems to have some connection with Derby, maybe luck. She made her debut in ODI against England Women team at Derby on Jun 30, 2011. In November 2015, she was named in B-grade contract list of BCCI - first contracts to the nation's women players. She is a middle-order right-hand batswoman and bowls right-arm leg break. While in India, mothers focus on their daughters prospects of education and marriage, Veda's mother encouraged her to play so called "boys' sports" i.e. Cricket. Lucky girl and lucky mom.

Smriti Mandhana
She, her brother & father share the same goal: Rev up Cricket Spirit
Smriti Mandhana, a Mumbaiyya moved to Sangli (in Maharashtra) when she was just two. There she completed her schooling. Both her 
father & brother, Shravan, are cricket players, who played at the district-level, for Sangli. Watching her brother play in  Maharashtra's Under-16s tournaments, she was inspired, and took up cricket. When she was nine, she was selected in the Maharashtra's Under-15 team. 
At eleven, she was chosen for the Maharashtra's Under-19s team. Smriti’s first breakthrough happened in October 2013 when she became the first Indian woman to achieve a double-hundred in a one-day game against Gujarat, where she scored an unbeaten 224 off 150 balls in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament, at the Alambic Cricket Ground in Vadodara. 
During 2016 Women's Challenger Trophy, Smriti scored three 50s for India Red in many games, and helped the team win the Trophy with an unbeaten 62 runs off 82 balls in the final against India Blue. With 192 runs, she emerged as the tournament's top-scorer. Tambwekar,  the head coach of Shravan’s Under 16’s squad coached Smriti, who found her to be a sincere and dedicated student as she practiced unremittingly to fix her flaws and improve her skills.

 Poonam Raut
Master Blaster’s Fan
Poonam Ganesh Raut, an Indian woman cricketer who has played in  28 women's one-day internationals, 27 Twenty20 internationals for India and 1 Test cricket. During WODI verses Ireland, on 15 May 2017, Poonam set a world record for opening partnership of 320 runs with Deepti Sharma, contributing 188 in her own capacity, which beat the standing women's record of 229 set by Sarah Taylor & Caroline Atkins of England team and the standing men's record in ODIs of 286 set by Upul Tharanga & Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka. This right-hand batswoman  is no alien to setbacks (faced them twice), but with hard work & determination, she carved her way back to the Indian team (also known as team's comeback queen). She idolizes Sachin Tendulkar. 
She has scored cumulative 840 runs in sixteen matches in 2012-13 domestic season, at a Bradmanesque average of 150.88. She has the right-arm off break bowling style.

 Ekta Bisht
First Internaional Woman Cricketer from Uttarakhand
Ekta Bisht, ODI shirt no. 8, is the first International woman cricketer from Uttarakhand state. Born in Almora, Uttar Pradesh, Ekta began playing cricket at the age of six. She played it with the boys, initially. In 2006, Ekta became captain of the Uttarakhand cricket team. She played for the Uttar Pradesh cricket team for 3 years (from 2007 to 2010).
In 2011, she was selected for the India Women's national cricket team and made her WODI debut against Australia in July, 2011. On 3 October 2012, she took a hat-trick as India outplayed during match of the ICC World Women Twenty20 played in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her batting average in WODI, and WT20 has been 9.69 and 4.62, respectively. While her bowling (right-arm medium) average has been 19.46 and 14.84 in WODIs, and WT20, respectively.

 Deepti Sharma
Left-Handed Batswoman from Sahranpur to T20International
Deepti Bhagwan Sharma hails from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, is a left-handed batswoman with right-arm off spin bowling. She made her debut in international cricket in an Women's One Day International (WODI) against South Africa on 28 November 2014. She is a Left-hand batsman and bowls Right-arm off spin. Along with Poonam Raut made a record breaking partnership against Ireland Women in May, 2017. As an opener with Poonam, Deepti created a 320-run stand for the first wicket against Ireland Women in the 8th match of Women's Quadrangular Series. Deepti scored 188 runs, the 2nd-highest by a batter in the Women's ODIs after Belinda Clarke's 229* against Denmark in 1997. Deepti's T20I debut was against Australia in January, 2016. Her batting average in WODI, and WT20 has been 45.09 and 18.50, respectively. While her bowling (right-arm medium) average has been 21.77 and 19.20 in WODIs, and WT20, respectively.

Sushma Verma
First Cricketer from HP, & 
Female Version of MS Dhoni
Sushma Verma, a Shimla born cricketer, is the first cricketer from Himachal Pradesh male or female to represent India in international cricket. She started her career in cricket as a wicket-keeper and right-hand batswoman in the national women's cricket team. Prior to that, she has played for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, and under her captaincy, the team became the runners-up at the Under-19 All-India women's tournament (in 2011). Due to limited playing options in domestic, she started playing for the Railways, along with Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Punam Raut. She is the wicket-keeper in the team. Cricket didn't come naturally to this lady, but a newspaper advertisement changed her life. She started playing cricket in 2009 at the age of 17, and the same year turned out to be even luckier as she got into the state team. She used to play handball, badminton, volleyball during her school days. As of June 2017, she had batted just 8 times in the 22 ODIs, while facing a grand sum of 56 deliveries. Sushma believes that practice must be done steadily, daily, in a routine fashion. She follows Adam Gilchrist on YouTube to observe and learn his tricks.

Mansi Joshi 
More Milestones on the way
Mansi Joshi is an Indian international cricketer who made her debut for the Indian national team in November 2016. She is a right-arm medium-fast bowler was born in  Brahmakhal in Uttarkashi,  Uttarakhand. She made her Women's One Day International cricket (WODI) debut against Ireland in the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier on 10 February 2017. So far, she has played 7 ODIs and 1 T20I. 

 Poonam Yadav
From a Quitter to a Winner
Poonam Yadav made her debut in International cricket on 5 April 2013 in a Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) match against Bangladesh. She has played  in the domestic cricket for Central Zone, Uttar Pradesh and Railways. 8 years back, during 2009-10 Interstate Women's One-Day Competition, when Poonam scored "phone number" scores (as she termed them) for Uttar Pradesh, she was hit by immense frustration, to an extent that she wanted to quit. To convey her decision of calling quits, she wrote her feelings summarized by her decision in a note for her father. Luckily, she misplaced it. Poonam is now one of India's leading bowlers in Twenty20 Internationals and nearing the rank of  becoming the second Indian after Jhulan Goswami with 30 or more T20I wickets. 
Her average of 11.03 and strike-rate of 12.40 is an efficient score with at least ten scalps. Her debut was against Bangladesh in 2013, since then she has feasted upon In 14 victories with 24 wickets at 10.66. 
Her batting average is 14 and 4 with a strike rate of 41.17 and 88.88, for ODIs and T20Is, respectively. Her bowling average is 20.21 and 12.29 for ODIs and T20Is, respectively. A devotee of Lord Hanuman, Poonam applies a saffron colour teeka on her forehead with a firm faith in God and her abilities. 
This Theist is also notorious, as she teases her married sister for early marriage and not being able to travel the world with her. She is now working with the Indian Railways.

Shikha Pandey
From Indian Air Force to 
International T20: First Goan ODI & T20I Player
Shikha Pandey, an  Electronics and Electrical Engineering graduate from Goa College of Engineering, is the first Goa-born player to play ODIs and international T20s and 2nd player to play Test cricket, after Saredesai. During her engineering studies, Purnima Rao, Indian coach, former women's team captian and south zone selector, encouraged her to play for the nation. Shikha took a year off from the course to play in the Board President's XI against England & West Indies teams in 2010 and January 2011, respectively. Shikha joined the Indian Air Force, and became an Air traffic controller in 2011 though, she never left her passion aloof. This right-handed batswoman made her debut in international Twenty20 (T20) on 9 March 2014,  against Bangladesh at Cox's Bazar cricket stadium, Bangladesh. 2014 was her breakthrough year, as the same year she made her debut in One Day International cricket (ODI) and Test cricket against England at Wormsley and Scarborough. At the age of 17, she was selected to play for Goa's Women Senior State Side. As of 5 July 2017, she has played 2 Tests, 27 ODIs and 22 T20s for India. Her batting average in WTest, WODI, and WT20 has been 27, 8.75 and 7, respectively.

 Mona Meshram
Mona Meshram is right hand Batswoman and right-arm medium bowler. Meshram was part of the Women's World Cup 2017 final. She has played 21 ODIs and 8 T20Is with a batting average of 22.16 and 13.16, respectively. 
She was the recipient of the BCCI's M.A. Chidambaram Award for being the best Junior lady cricketer of the 2010-11 season for scoring massive 623 runs in 8 matches, including one century and five half centuries). 
Her batting average in WTest, WODI, and WT20 has been 37, 26.30 and 14, respectively. While her bowling (right-arm medium) average has been 20, 18.28, and 25.16 in WTest, WODIs, and WT20, respectively.
 
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What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.
— Abraham Maslow
 
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