Cricket lovers always crave for unheard stories. These are stories and journeys from the past which interest the young. We wander the past to wonder what we gained and what not. In the sixth episode of Pioneers, Vishal Yadav sat with Pramila Bhat to chat all things cricket.
Bhat has been one of the most effective bowlers for the Indian side. She played International cricket in the last decade of the twentieth century. She is one of the few Indian elites to have played test cricket between the years 1990 and 1996. Moreover, her one-day International career consists of 22 appearances. Not only this, but she has also been the skipper for the side in 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup.
With these heavy numbers under her belt, it won’t be incorrect to say that her story seems less planned and more curated. She recalls that she was an athlete and was, in fact, practising to be a regular athlete. However, her family had moved to Bangalore in 1984 and it was in the summer holidays of her 11th grade that she got into her first cricketing camp. Things were falling in place for young Pramila. She was 16 when she started playing the game.
At this age, it was normal for women to be playing on the state level or many even made their mark internationally. The incredible journey of Pramila started late but her skills took her to the top. She went to her cricketing camp and after her initial days, she was asked whether to opt for a bat or ball. The naive girl was confused and landed with a ball in her hand. She was bowling off-spin and, as she recalls in her candid chat, but there was something different in the way she bowled.
Her coach noticed it and asked her where she learnt to turn the ball ‘square’. Pramila says that in her first attempt, she was bowling off-spin and was using both fingers and wrist to get the ball talking. Her coach, at the camp, Krishna told her that he had not seen women turning the ball so much. Pramila was then taken to meet the state team in a stadium.
She was, at that time, not very interested in the game. But it has to be noted that she never left the game. She was called by her college side to the field and her chance with the ball got her serious rewards. Later on, she was told by seniors that she has the potential to play for the national side. It was from here that she made her serious training regime and focused herself to cricket. She has played cricket at various levels and with players and counterparts of varying skillset. Her journey is worth a listen for fans.
Click here to watch the complete Episode on Female Cricket’s YouTube Channel