She woke up to this surprise on 29th October 2016, to see herself being crowned as the winner of Hyundai Cricjockey Season 2, powered by ESPNCricinfo.
22-year-old Annesha Ghosh from Kolkata has got her name etched into the annals of ESPN history. A student of English Literature (from the University of Calcutta) and Journalism and Mass Communication (from Jadavpur University), she is an ardent follower of cricket, and the game has been an inseparable part of Annesha’s life since early childhood. Back in her girlhood days, while others enjoyed watching cricket at home, Annesha would be in her backyard, tossing up balls and learning the basics of the game as a left-handed bat, with her brother and cousins as her playing mates. She soon realized that she was smitten by the bug: cricket.
This, however, wasn’t just limited to watching or playing the sport: Annesha would satiate her cricketing curiosity by devouring fiction and non-fiction cricket books on the game, relishing on expert authorial perspectives and picking up insights one would never find elsewhere. Cricket being the whole gamut of her emotional constitution, a part of it, that is, women’s cricket, struck a chord with Annesha from the earliest days of her association with the sport. She rarely missed an opportunity of watching women’s game on TV—despite the dearth of television coverage– and considers herself fortunate for being able to witness an era spanning 2000 Women’s ODI World Cup and the ICC Women’s T20 2016.
It is no secret that success is where preparation and opportunity meet; and this bore testimony to Annesha’s dream story on one fine day in October, this year. Hyundai Cricjockey, powered by ESPNCricinfo, a nationwide contest where cricket fans can exhibit their commentary skills, caught her attention. It was half a decade of shadow commentary practice at home, most of which often went unnoticed by peers and family, that was about to throw open for Annesha the doors at ESPN, the global leader in the sports media industry in present times. This contest was about to test her cricketing passion, creativity and speaking and writing skills, and guess what? Annesha was right on the money being at the right place at the right time and, not to mention, with the right people. A month-long journey filled was with milestones — some big, some small — but Annesha, determined to make the opportunity count, scrambled her way up the ladder and reached the summit.
Out of over 250,000-odd entries from across the country, she made it to the top, cherishing her journey and enjoying the sweet taste of victory.
It might come across as a fairy-tale, but in reality, the journey was full of twists and turns. But that could barely have a bearing on Annesha’s immense desire of bagging the top honor. Why?
Because she was a girl, who, in the first place, thought of taking up the challenge; come what may! Not slightest modicum of discomfort or the immensity of the competition deterred her perseverance to make it to the very end. The prevalent societal norms that treat a girl/woman differently from men didn’t bother her much, and even if they did, Annesha was brave enough to turn deaf ears to them. The archaic ideologies of confining women behind closed doors have been, at no point in her life, in sync with hers. Her dreams were free, and still are, pulsating with aspirations one wouldn’t usually associate with a 22-year-old girl. Notwithstanding the barriers that are bound to impede one’s journey as they go along, she hopes to make it big in a male-dominated world which is known to smother young dreams.
This victory of Annesha’s is not hers alone. It is, in many ways, the triumph of an average young girl’s dream. Annesha is just a medium, who is here to convey this beautiful message to all the young and ambitious girls out there: Many of our dreams seem impossible in the beginning; then, they seem improbable. But once we summon the will, they become inevitable.