Gongadi Trisha – The Teen prodigy from Hyderabad who wants to lift U19 World Cup Trophy

At just the tender age of eight, she was already in the state U16 cricket team. By the time she was 12, she was playing the U19s and U23s. Gongadi Trisha, a right-handed batter and a right-arm leg-spinner from Hyderabad, has been doing exceptionally well in the domestic circuit. She was recently announced in the India B squad and will feature in the quadrangular series, including India A, West Indies, and Sri Lanka. With the ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup just around the corner, this talented all-rounder from Hyderabad will look to put her best foot forward.

Trisha shares her cricketing journey, words of wisdom that Mithali Raj shared with her, and many more with Female Cricket.

Female Cricket Interviews Gongadi Trisha. PC: Supplied
Female Cricket Interviews Gongadi Trisha. PC: Supplied

 

Excerpts

When did you start playing cricket?

I started playing cricket when I was three years old. I played the sport at home with my father. He was my first coach. He used to feed me balls, and I used to enjoy hitting them with my plastic bat. Though he was a hockey player who played for the state during his younger days, he encouraged me to play cricket. He worked as a fitness trainer in a gym. However, to make me a professional cricketer, he quit his job. Back then, there were no cricket academies where we lived. So my parents decided that we move to Hyderabad. Earlier, we stayed in Bhadrachalam. We made a move to Hyderabad when I was six years old. I joined St. John’s Cricket Academy in Hyderabad and practiced under Srinivasan sir. Since I was too small, I used to ask my father to buy me something if he wanted me to go to practice. He purchased me colour pencils as an incentive.

 

Trisha Gongadi. PC: Supplied
Trisha Gongadi. PC: Supplied

 

Was it easy shifting to a new place?

It was different. At first, it was just me and my father, with whom I played cricket. But when we moved to Hyderabad, I saw many boys and girls playing the sport. When I saw girls playing cricket, I got more interested. It was at the correct age we made the shift. So, adjusting to a new place was relatively easy for me.

How have your parents supported you in your cricketing journey?

My parents have shown tremendous support. They have done it all, from shifting our base to Hyderabad to coming to the grounds when I am playing. My father continues to accompany me for practice and is on the ground during my matches. On the other hand, my mother holds the fort at home and takes care of my dietary requirements.

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Trisha Gongadi.
Trisha Gongadi.

 

When did you first play for Hyderabad?

I was eight years old when I first played for Hyderabad U16. I was the youngest player in the team. I had an excellent start to my domestic career as I was the leading run-scorer in the south zone for two years at the U16 level. Then, at the age of 12, I played for Hyderabad U19 mainly as a batter and for Hyderabad U23 primarily as a bowler. My first U19 game was against Tamil Nadu. I scored 38 runs and picked up four wickets in that game.

You come from where Mithali Raj, one of the most remarkable women cricketers of all time, has played most of her cricket. Did you get a chance to meet her any day?

Yes, I have been lucky to have got the chance to meet her. She will practice in the nets with us whenever she is in our academy. She has given me a few tips concerning my batting and bowling. For my bowling, she advised me not to change my action since I have a unique round-arm action, and for my batting, she emphasized focusing on the ball rather than the bowler. I recall an incident when one of the bowlers was bowling to her, and after the delivery, she went to Mithali di and asked about her bowling. Mithali di answered that she was watching the ball and not the bowler.

 

Trisha Gongadi is a left-arm leg spinner from Hyderabad. PC: Supplied
Trisha Gongadi is a left-arm leg spinner from Hyderabad. PC: Supplied

 

You have been doing exceptionally well at the domestic level. Was there any challenging situation that you encountered in your career so far?

When I played my first senior Challengers Trophy, I was just 13 years old. I had so many seniors in the team, and it was overwhelming to be a part of the same dressing room as some of the top players in the country. In my first match in the tournament, I went in to bat at number three. We lost our first wicket on the first ball, and I was out in the middle sooner than expected. Wickets were falling all around me, and suddenly we were struggling at 4/4. Watching the wickets fall so quickly, I was getting nervous. However, Sushma (Verma) di, who came in to bat next, calmed my nerves. She told me about the opposition bowlers and what lines and lengths to expect. I was telling myself to stay there. Though I didn’t score too many runs, I held the innings together for the next nine overs.

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After a prolific run in the U19 T20 Challengers Trophy, you were selected for India B. How does that feel?

I am delighted that I have been selected for India B. My parents were delighted when the announcement was made. We were given the India jersey for the quadrangular series just a few days after the selection. My joy knew no bounds when I wore the Indian colours for the first time. It is like a dream come true.

 

Trisha Gongadi.
Trisha Gongadi.

 

How are you preparing for the Quadrangular series featuring India A, India B, West Indies, and Sri Lanka?

I am eagerly looking forward to this quadrangular series since we will be playing against international teams for the first time. I have been planning my practice sessions diligently, keeping in mind that we will play more T20s. I have been specifically working on my fitness and adding high-percentage shots that would help me score quickly in the shorter format of the game.

With the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup just a stone’s throw away, how excited are you for it?

I learned about the World Cup around five to six months ago. Since then, I have been putting in the hard yards to make myself a better player. I am very excited about it and hope to be a part of the Indian team. I want us to win the trophy.

 

Hyderabad Women's Cricket Team. PC: Supplied
Hyderabad Women’s Cricket Team. PC: Supplied

 

Rapid Fire Questions

Which is your favourite shot?

Over the covers

Which is your favourite mode of dismissal?

Bowled

Who is your role model?

Mithali Raj

Apart from cricket, which is the other sport you play?

Swimming

Which is your favourite food item?

Pizza

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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