In a bid to keep fans entertained and occupied with the game they love so much; Female cricket has initiated a new series of Podcasts called ‘Female Cricket Podcast.’ Female Cricket wishes to lessen the gap between the stars and the spectators through this initiative.
The first guest to feature on the inaugural copy of the podcast is Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma. She chats about her cricket journey with enthusiastic and joyful Vishal Yadav from Female Cricket. Deepti starts with her infant days in cricket.
She recalls falling in love with cricket because of her brother who represented Uttar Pradesh. She was stubborn to know the game and see her brother practice at Eklavya Stadium. After getting her father’s nod, she went to the ground and made way for her future. She was spotted by former Indian cricketer Hemlata Kala after 8-year-old Deepti got a direct hit at the stadiums. Hema di, as Deepti remembers, got her to play cricket first.
Deepti got her initial training with the season ball itself with catches being stimulated by a softer Tennis ball. She has a family of seven siblings and parents. The family had always enjoyed the game but with Deepti playing for the national side, her mom too joined the party and started following the game religiously. She, like any beginner, wanted to bat and then was into pace. However, she was guided to do well in all departments.
She gave her first trial for the state Under-19 in 2010. She was selected for Uttar Pradesh in 2011. From there on, she played at the Under-19 stage for a good duration of 5 years. She recalls her first century in 2012 and got two wickets. She, however, shifted from Uttar Pradesh to Bengal for her domestic matches. It was driven by the thought of playing under a legend like Jhulan. Deepti says Jhulan was calm and composed as a player and supportive as a skipper.
Her debut for the national side came against South Africa in 2014. She was just 17 when she got the call and was on the field with India A. Her mentor Rita Dey (former India international) informed her brother Sumit first. She was extremely happy on the call. It was unbelievable as she says. The first match against Proteas was in Bangalore. Although she was nervous, she got two wickets alongside Jhulan. Another important feat in her journey came when she got her first invite into the world cup squad in 2016. She was just 19 and it was very special for a youngster to play in the world cup. Although she was on the bench for the complete tournament, but she was determined to prove herself if she gets a second go.
Indeed, it was proven to be true. She gave her best in the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup and emerged as one of the main all-rounders. After the 2016 cup, she was striving to give her best. She was practicing daily at the nets to improve her game. She sharpened her bowling skills. In the first match, the Indian side defeated the mighty English side. The Indian team was doing better in all departments. India went onto play the finals which changed the course of women’s cricket in India. Deepti recalls the reception that she got was warm and unprecedented. Life changed after the cup. People have started recognizing them and the players are now living like celebrities. Deepti shares that she can’t have Golgappas due to the increase in popularity and fame that came along with the World Cup’s success. Nonetheless, the sky is the limit for the starts. She feels that India will soon hold the cup and give gifts to his fans.
Deepti further talks about her T20 World Cup experience in Australia and the feeling of playing in front of over 86,000 spectators at the MCG.
To Listen to the entire episode, click here.