Nuzhat Parween, born and brought up in a small district of Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh is a wicket-keeper bat, who made her debut for India at just 20 years of age. Prior to getting into cricket full time, Parween, represented her state in football and was also the captain of the U16 team.
Unlike many cricketers, she boasts of a fantastic academic record, which is evident from the fact that she scored a splendid 91.8 percent in her standard 12 (Commerce). Vishal Yadav from Female Cricket, had a tête-à-tête with Nuzhat Parween, wherein they talked about Parween’s India debut, her role models, as well as the state cricket in Madhya Pradesh.
We are back again with another exciting Instagram LIVE chat as we speak to the Wicket-Keeper of Indian Women’s Cricket Team – Nuzhat Parween today at 5.00 PM.
Head to our https://t.co/K0fdmQft5N , comment your questions & get it answered by Nuzhat Parween. 😃
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) April 11, 2020
“I first played cricket in 2011, when I was about 14 years old. Before that, I was completely into football playing the game since I was in grade one. The kind of stamina and endurance I built because of football actually helped me a lot in cricket,” Nuzhat stated.
Though hailing from a small district like Singrauli, where sports was not that popular, Nuzhat, who is blessed with a wonderful set of parents, was always encouraged to play. She added, “My parents have always been very supportive. I followed the timelines that they laid down for me and soon I gained their confidence. Apart from my parents, my elder brother has been my pillar of strength. Whenever I used to miss exams for practice or matches, my brother used to take care of our parents and pacify them.”
Discussing her initial days in cricket, Nuzhat recalled, “Going to the cricket ground from home for practice was a task. The ground was quite far, around 5-7km from home.
During those days, public transport was not that developed in my district. So I used to cycle all the way. My parents used to feel concerned because by the time the practice used to get over it would turn dark. And in a small district like Singrauli, there are not many people on the streets when it starts to get dark. But I feel grateful that my coaches helped me in those days, they used to either pick me or drop me so my parents were a little relieved.”
Going back to how Nuzhat’s cricketing journey started, it is no doubt, very interesting. “In 2011, when a women’s team for an inter-district tournament was formed in Singrauli, the administration did not have enough players. At that time, I was invited to be part of the team, since the administration knew about my football credentials. I started out as a wicket-keeper, in the inter-district cricket competition, representing the Singrauli team, and based on my performance, I was given a special place in Madhya Pradesh’s Under-19 Women’s Cricket Team.”
Talking about the selection process of the state team in Madhya Pradesh, the 23-year-old averred, “In MP, you have inter-district tournaments. You have to approach your district administration, wherein they will take your trials and if you are good enough, they will take you in the district team. After the districts come divisions. And once you do well in the inter-division competitions, you have a strong chance of making it to the state team.”
After going through all these, the wicket-keeper finally made her debut in 2016. “I was one of the youngest in the teams alongside Deepti Sharma. My joy knew no bounds as I was a part of the same dressing room with some of the great players.”
“I always idolized Mithali Raj and rubbing shoulders with her felt great. All the players were very supportive and they asked me to enjoy my debut and not put any additional pressure on myself,” exclaimed Nuzhat, who looks up to two great wicket-keepers MS Dhoni and Sarah Taylor. She was also a part of the World Cup squad in 2017 that made it to the finals at Lord’s.
With no cricketing action for over a month, Nuzhat is making the most of her time at home. “I am working out in the morning and then working on the basics and techniques. I am also utilizing this time to develop my mental strength which I feel is equally important as physical strength in the game of cricket,” she elucidated.
On a concluding note, Nuzhat gave a message to the budding cricketers, “Trust your own self irrespective whether anybody believes in you or no. Even when you reach a point where you don’t know what to do, have trust in yourself and push yourself as hard as you can, because once you are out of that you are certain to rise with flying colors.”
Loves all things female cricket