Female Cricket interviews Aarti Nalge – First Indian woman video analyst

What we cricket fans see and count is the win/loss of a particular team. But what we cannot see and never realize is the home-work and hard work our coaches and support staff indulge in on a daily basis. Support staff such as Physios, trainers, coaches, stay behind the limelight and silently build and nurture a strong team. One such demanding role is of a Video Analyst who prepares reports on individual player performances which in turn helps to take numerous strategic decisions. Hyderabad’s Aarti Nalge is the current Video Analyst of our Indian women’s cricket team and is the first Indian woman to take up this challenging role. Aarti, who has played cricket before understands the nuances of the game and is pretty much enjoying it. Female Cricket spoke to Aarti Nalge about her cricket journey. 

1. At what age did Cricket happen to you? Who were your role models whilst growing up?
I was very small when I saw my dad playing this game. I could hardly understand and use to look at the scoreboard and search for my father’s name and the score beside his name. Back then he was playing for the services team. I started showing interest in cricket when I was 15. I always enjoyed watching Sachin Tendular, Rahul Dravid and Brain Lara bat.

2. What made you discontinue playing cricket? How tough was the decision?
During a regular practice session I injured my shoulder and post that I came back for the session however every time I was disappointed.

3. How was it to chart into an unknown territory (Video Analyst) with male counterparts leading the fort? What inspired you to take the decision?
Love for the game had always been there. I had no clue about something known as video analyst. In 2010, when I went to watch a game at gymkhana grounds I saw 6 cameras at the ground and the output of the view was seen in a tent which was at one corner of the ground.There was a guy sitting and looking at the TV and his laptop and was discussing something. There was an appeal for a run out and the umpire asked for a third umpire decision. All that was very interesting to watch and after the game I inquired about what was all that. When I heard about it that sounded interesting to me. So I decided to do the video analyst course. And when I went to the seminar I got to know that I was the first women who opted for this course. I knew that knowing this the journey is going to be even more tough for me as I felt that if I do good and can inspire people then we would see some more women’s coming into this field.

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4. How has the journey been so far?
There is no substitute for hardwork..this saying is very true. Journey has not been easy at all. My work is all about experiments. The more we experiment the more we learn.

5. How was the experience on your first analysis stint against Sri Lanka in Vishakhapatnam?
When I got a call from BCCI I was super excited about the assignment. This was my first International assignment. I would always be thankful to M.V. Sridhar sir for having that confidence on me. Working with the team has always been great. I was new to the team and knew Mithali Raj and Purnima Rau as I played couple of matches with Mithali and Puri di had been my senior. Within no time I was very comfortable with the team and enjoyed my stint.

6. What are the process / steps involved in becoming a successful video analyst?
As I said, Hard work, experiments, open for feedback, learning from seniors 🙂

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7. If not Cricket, where else would have Aarti landed up in her career?
Shuttle Badminton Player

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8. You hold a silent yet very impactful role for Indian women’s cricket team. How special / memorable was winning Asia Cup 2016?
Asia cup had to be special for me as I was covering it for the first time. I knew the team’s participating and I had to do my home work before hand. I had collected videos of the opposition teams and shared them with the coach and team which helped the team to work out on the weaknesses of the opposition teams.

9. Given an option to choose 1: Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 2017 or Asia Cup 2016? Which series did you enjoy analyzing the most and why?
I can’t choose one. It’s very difficult. Both of them have got there own importance.
For Asia cup the final game – Win against Pakistan was a memorable time and for women’s world cup qualifier win against south Africa was splendid.

10. Apart from Video Analysis, what other opportunities you see does women’s cricket have to offer?
We have lot of opportunities now. To name a few would be Umpiring, Match Referee , Scorer, Coach, Fitness Trainer, Physio.

11. Your views/suggestions on Female Cricket.
Female cricket in a way is promoting women’s cricket across the world. We need more and more platform like this.

12. Answer in one word:

1. Your favorite player?
Rahul Dravid

2. Favorite place
Paris

3. Favorite cricket stadium?
Dharamshala

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4. Favorite dish?
Varan Bhaat

5. Favorite Hollywood / Bollywood flick?
Many 🙂

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