Let’s check out some of the women cricketers who despite having an Indian origin played for the team other than India.
1. Isa Guha (England)
Isa Tara Guha, popularly known as Isa Guha, made her debut for England against the country her family lineage can find a link, India. Born and bought up in England, Isa’s parents Barun Guha and Roma Guha belongs to India. In 2002, at the age of 17, Isa made her debut against India. Her parents are from Kolkata, and they shifted to the United Kingdom in Seventies. Being a daughter of a family which has a affection of cricket, Isa opted to become a fast bowler. A right arm medium bowler from Buckinghamshire, Isa took up 29 test wickets in 8 matches she played. Besides she also picked up 101 and 18 wickets in ODI and T20 respectively. She was ranked 1st among the bowlers in 2008 and played an instrumental role in retaining the Ashes for England in 2008 and winning the 2009 World Cup. During her time cricket was a semi professional sports and Isa was becoming less consistent. Several times she made comeback and then again WAS left out by the team. So she decided to take retirement in 2012 when she was just 26, because she didn’t want to play cricket forever just to pay her bills. Then she completed her PhD in Neuroscience and became the sports presenter. Associated with several radio and T.V channels she is very much vocal about the same right for the women cricketers. Often seen in IPL she has successfully completed her stint in Women Ashes and has been a prime face at WBBL along with Mel Jones for last 3 years.
2. Lisa Sthalekar (Australia)
If Isa represented England, another prominent player from Indian origin represented Australia. Yup, you guessed it right. It’s none other than Lisa Sthalekar.
She is the first ever women cricketer to take 100 wickets and 1000 runs in ODI. She also won the Australia’s women cricketer of the year twice in 2007 and 2008. At the same time she was the member of the World Cup winning team in 2013 and World T-20 in 2009 and also was the runners up in 2009 World Cup. She also became the Captain of the National side.
Lisa who made her debut in 2003 picked up a total of 229 international wickets in a decade long carrier. Her off spin bowling created the pathway for many famous victories for the Aussies. Regarded as a decent all rounder, she hit 3 centuries and 19 half centuries across all the 3 formats of the game. Lisa who took retirement after the 2013 world cup from international cricket played in the inaugural season of WBBL for the Sidney Sixers and now her voice is one of the prominent in the commentary box across the world.
But if you think this achievement makes her the legend of the game then you are wrong my friend. It’s not the records and stats but the fight she fought as an individual made her one of the modern greats.
Born in Pune Lisa had a name, ‘Laila’. But her biological parents didn’t support her and placed her in an orphan home after her birth. One day a couple from Michigan, Haren and Sue Sthalekar came to that orphanage, ‘Shreevasta’, to find a boy and complete their family. But as they found none they found a ‘brown eyed’ and after a short period of time they decided to adopt her. ‘Laila’ becomes ‘Lisa’ after just 3 weeks of her birth. And the journey begins for her to the top when her father said ‘I think cricket runs in the blood of all Indian’.
3. Sonia Odedra (England)
The test series between England and India, happened in 2014, was an extraordinary one due to several reasons. India fielded 8 debutants and still managed to win the match by 5 wickets and won the very first test match they played after 8 years. On the other hand this test match at Wormsley also witnessed the highest number of leg before dismissal in a test match.
But Sonia Balu Odedra, the seamer from Nottinghamshire also made her debut in that match. Though she is of an Indian origin she represented England in that test. Unfortunately she didn’t play any test match further. She scored only 2 runs in 2 innings and picked up a lone wicket at an average of 50. Though she didn’t get any further chances in international cricket, she continued to play domestic matches and in Kia Super League.
4. Sandra Braganza and 5. Renuka Majumder (International XI)
In 1982 Women’s cricket world cup, 16 players from India were selected to play for India. But what we often forget is that there were two more Indian players who didn’t play for India but flavoured the International XI team. They were Sandra Braganza and Renuka Majumder. Renuka and Sandra made their debut against England Women and their tally showed 0/37(7) and 1/48 (8) respectively. Renuka, right arm medium bowler played 6 matches and scored merely 24runs @ 12 and picked up 3 wickets @ 60.33.
Sandra, another right arm quick played 11 matches in that tournament and scored 29 runs @ 4. 83 and picked up 15 wickets 20.27.
While Renuka never played for India, Sandra played 6 tests and some WODI’s for India and while she picked 4 wickets in test @ 51 she picked 10 wickets in 9 matches for India.
6. Anisa Mohammed (West Indies)
With ample of records under her name, Anisa Mohammed is one of the greatest spin bowlers that women cricket has ever seen. First cricketer (male or female) to take 100 t-20 international wickets, most four wicket haul in t-20 and the highest wicket taker in t-20, the records are noteworthy.
But she can also trace her root back to India, though when and how her ancestor came to West Indies are not known to her. Perhaps her great great great grandparents had shifted from India. But Anisha’s father and mom were born and brought up in Trinidad and Tobago. So the roots remained blurred.
Mohammed, who lead the West Indian National side for 3 years, also picked 247 international wickets with 7 fifer.
7. Shabnim Ismail (South Africa)
Ismail, one of the prominent fast bowlers of South Africa found her roots in India. She made her debut in 2007 and now spearhead the RSA bowling attack with another star bowler Marizanne Kapp and has lead RSA in various infamous victories. She is also the first Muslim woman to represent her national side. With 111 WODI wickets in 77 matches @ 20.27 the records are worth remembering. Though she was suspended by the board but she came back strong and played vital roles in the last year’s World Cup.
8. Trisha Chetty (South Africa)
Like her team-mate Ismail, Chetty also has her base in India, and this prolific Wicket-keeper batter has been the pillar of the RSA women cricket for quite a few years. In a World Cup where Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami found themselves at new height, Trisha Chetty added her name to the leader boards when in Taunton earlier this week she rose to top spot for most wicket-keeper dismissals in women’s One-Day Internationals. Going into the semi-final, Chetty has 134 dismissals, one ahead of Rebecca Rolls, the former New Zealand player. Of those, 92 are catches and 42 are stumping. At the same time she is also a handy batter who stood for the cause of the team. Though she started batting down the order but gradually she climbed the ladder to bat at one down or sometimes she opens. 2408 runs in 98 matches with 16 half centuries only proves the point.