There is something about the Indian soil, it strengthens one’s roots and fills them hard work, grit, dedication, determination and a thirst for achieving more and more. And when it comes to cricket, there cannot be a better place than Aamchi Mumbai that produces the most successful cricketers. Jemimah Rodrigues the young All-round sensation from Bhandup, Mumbai. The Mumbai soil has given the stretch of the 22 Yards some of its greatest legends and Rodrigues is sure to become one. This prodigy has been earning a name since the day of her debut in 2018. Female Cricket has always been a trending topic and an ever-evolving area in history. Here is to the female cricketer who is loved by all and the only who keeps fans and critics both glued to their screens and seats no matter what!
CHILDHOOD, FAMILY AND EARLY LIFE OF JEMIMAH RODRIGUES
Jemimah Ivan Rodrigues was born in Bhandup, Mumbai on 5th September 2000. Born to Ivan Rodrigues and Lavita Rodrigues. Her father, Ivan Rodrigues was a junior coach in her school and she grew up bowling to her brothers. She has two siblings, Enoch and Eli. Her father, who has been coaching her since the very beginning, started the girl’s cricket team at her school and was himself a club cricketer. When Jemimah was just 4, she started playing season cricket. But due to a lack of good professional facilities, they had to move to another area of the city. The young Jemimah Rodrigues loved playing cricket and hockey. This right-handed batter started playing at a very young age, when the other kids struggled to crawl and walk, this champion was targeting the bails and the boundaries. Jemimah used to field for around 2 hours to get a batting session of just 10-15 minutes during her training sessions while her brothers around an hour to bat. And sure these couple of hours have done enough to make her such a fantastic fielder.
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Ivan Rodrigues, Jemimah’s father said “At the age of four, she started playing season cricket. At the age of two, she probably used to play with plastic bats and balls and never with dolls. It is a dream for every parent who is a sportsperson to see their children play for India.”
“When it is cricket, I am only their coach and not father. I am very strict at that and they know it. When she was small, she got hammering as well especially when her feet were not moving.”
A sportsperson’s life is all about fitness, discipline and following a strict routine and this is clearly reflecting in the game of Rodrigues.
SCHOOLING AND EDUCATION OF JEMIMAH RODRIGUES
Jemimah Rodrigues did her schooling from St. Joseph’s Convent High School, Mumbai. And later attended the Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce.
THE GOLDEN DAY- DEBUT
17-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues made her T20I debut on 13th February 2018 Vs South Africa. And her ODI debut was not any far. On 12th March 2018, she made her ODI debut against mighty Australia. After the conclusion of her debut T20I series, she had an aggregate of 87 runs at an average of 29 and an impressive strike rate of 122.53.
FROM DOMESTIC TO INTERNATIONALS
Rodrigues began to play season cricket at a very young age of 4 and there was no looking back thereafter. At the age of 17, she not only played the cricket nationals but hockey as well and the world knew, she was on the money! She was only 17 when she was given the responsibility of captaining the U-19 Mumbai team for the 2017-18 season. In the opening tie, she had a whopping 178 against Gujarat. And a master class double ton against Saurashtra followed. Making her only the second Indian woman to achieve this feat in U-19 cricket after Smriti Mandhana. Her consistency and classy form landed her in India A against Bangladesh and thereafter into the Challengers trophy after some great knocks.
After such an amazing season, the India blues were not far. In February 2018, she was handed the Indian Jersey and it was time to shine against the Proteas. For a 17-year-old, this was huge! Here is what she had to say on the India Call-up “This was the reason I started playing cricket. When I was standing with the team, wearing the Indian jersey, proudly singing the national anthem, I could not believe I was living my dream”. Right on the day of her T20I debut, the world knew who was Jemimah Rodrigues and that she means business. As the Indian openers, Raj and Mandhana walked on to the field, the crowd was in for a treat. But after Mandhana was dismissed and Harmanpreet Kaur’s dismissal on the very next ball, all eyes were glued on Mithali Raj. But little did anyone know, Rodrigues was going to come out of syllabus for the South Africans. She was off the mark on her second delivery hitting a boundary through the long-on off Ayabonga Khaka. Her 27 ball 37 runs knock saw India home in 18.5 overs.
The second such instance was the deciding T20I on Saturday. Mandhana was gone for 13. It was over to Mithali and Jemimah’s 98-run stand that strengthened and brought the Indian innings back on track. Jemimah’s 34-ball 44 with Harmanpreet’s 17-ball 27 steered India to a challenging total of 166.
“Initially when I got my debut cap, I was nervous. When my time came to bat, I knew my team needed me to rise up to the occasion. So my thought process was that I just had to play my natural game and see how my team could win.”
That is what the ever so calm and chilled young sensation had to say on the game.
“I was batting with India’s most experienced batswoman. When we had lost back to back wickets, our strategy was to build a partnership and keep the scoreboard ticking without losing any more wickets,” Jemimah on batting with Mithali Raj.
Jemimah’s ODI debut was not so remarkable as she was dismissed for just one run against the Aussies but thereafter, she has given her everything into the format and has been proved as one of the most delightful batters to watch!
Oh! “THE CATCH QUEEN”
What Jemimah did at the deep midwicket left the spectators and even the greats of cricket absolutely stunned! What seemed like would head for a six, saw an absolute Jemimah master class flying to grab an otherworldly catch. Marizanne Kapp’s presence could have seen South Africa level the series against India. However, Jemimah had other plans! And well, she wrote the win herself!
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 21, 2019
Here is what the God of cricket had to say about the flying Jemimah “A fantastic knock of 44 in just 34 balls and a stunning catch at deep mid-wicket by the youngster, #JemimahRodrigues. Hope this girl has a very long career. My best wishes to you.” tweeted the master.
— Jonty Rhodes (@JontyRhodes8) August 22, 2019
DOMINATING THE DOMESTICS, THE IPL, AND THE KSL
Women’s IPL has been on the cards for a long time and Female Cricket is certainly seeing the greatest potential to grow through that. Jemimah was picked to play for the Supernovas in the Women’s Indian Premier League and the champ has never let her side down in any case.
In 2019, Jemimah was picked for her maiden Kia Super League and was all set to don the jersey for Yorkshire Diamonds. On 25th August, 2019 she scored her maiden century and the only century scored for the Yorkshire Diamonds this year.
WHATTTT A GEM!
Retweet as much as possible! 🇮🇳🔥 pic.twitter.com/LwksB0cCDh
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 25, 2019
Her whopping 112 runs not out off just 58 balls led her team to a record chase in KSL.
THE STAT GAME
The right-handed batter and right-arm off-break bowler has let the stats do the talking. In her 10 ODIs, she has scored 186 runs with one 50 to her name and a high score of 81 not out at an average of 20.66. In the T20Is, She has scored 608 runs in 25 matches with a high score of 72 among her 5 50s at an average of 30.40. She has taken a total of 14 catches in both these formats and is undoubtedly one of the most promising fielders!
*Stats as on 6th September 2019
THE QUICK BYTES
Rodrigues nicknamed Jemimah, aged 18 years. Rodrigues weighs 51 Kgs and her height is 157 Cms. Her Zodiac sign is Virgo and her twitter handle is @JemiRodrigues and her Instagram handle is @JemimahRodrigues
Rodrigues shares a super fun relationship with Ms. Consistent, Smriti Mandhana, and their bond is undoubtedly a special one.
FACTS ABOUT JEMIMAH RODRIGUES
1. The sensational young star started playing season cricket at the age of four.
2. She used to ball to her elder brothers Enoch and Eli from a young age.
3. She studied at St. Joseph’s Convent High School, Mumbai and later joined Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce.
4. She scored 80% marks in the tenth standard by studying just a week before the exams.
5. She is the youngest Indian to score a double hundred in a first-class game.
6. Singing and playing the guitar are her favorite hobbies.
Jemimah was also awarded the Jagmohan Dalmiya award for the Best Domestic Junior women’s cricketer by the BCCI.
A true lover of sports, playing both cricket and hockey at the national level, Rodrigues is a true legend in the making. A prodigy millions already look forward to. Where female cricket not only talks about various struggle stories and the successes thereafter, Jemimah had to choose between cricket and hockey and when asked about that decision, here is what her father had to say “If you ask her if she wants to play hockey, she will say she wants to. My dream was that my children should play for India be it Hockey or Cricket. Now even if she gets to play both the games for her country, she is ready to play both the games for her country”. “She has not given up on hockey. When she gets tired, she picks up a stick and starts playing Hockey. That is her relaxation”. He further added.
Jemimah Rodrigues is the next big thing in female cricket and the sensational talent millions of female cricketers both current and aspiring look up to.
The 22 Yard stretch that molded me, is what I hold sacred. A cricketer weaving life’s innings into words. A Rohit Sharma Admirer always. I believe writing and cricket aren’t passions, but ways of life, so truly living the dream!