With the global pandemic on full swing, the movement of any big cricketing events seems unlikely. Players have given loads of interviews and have opened about their experiences. Rumeli Dhar and her conversation with Vishal Yadav for Female Cricket Podcast makes a unique listen for fans. It is a curious moment for fans to learn about the past of women cricket.
Cricketing stint for Rumeli began when she was in Kolkata. She adds that her list A debut was in 1998. Furthermore, in the podcast, she revisits her addition to the East Zone squad. In her starting days, Rumeli was primarily a bowler. Her batting role was largely pinch-hitting. Air India then comes to the picture. She reveals the increment in her career and her skills that occurred when she made it to the Air India side. There were established faces like Anju Jain and others in the squad.
Rumeli was asked to bat at different positions by the side and hence her batting capabilities widened greatly. She terms her time with Air India as three big years. Her game saw a great degree of improvement in those days. From the initial domestic scene, the talks then went to the International debut. International debut with Jersey of the country is one of the most auspicious moments for a player. Rumeli recalls the joy in the eyes of her mother who had always dreamt of her child playing with the blue Indian Jersey.
She (Rumeli) got her name in a camp. Interestingly, as one would expect, she still has the first jersey that had her name on the back. One of the best aspects of interacting with veterans has to be the early days. Rumeli has played a significant amount of cricket in pre-BCCI days. There was no lavishness and facilities attached to women’s cricket at that time. Often teams would travel without bowling or a batting coach and physio would be a luxury.
Under these circumstances, Rumeli went to her first international tour in England. She recalls that her seniors were very supportive at a time when she was nervous. Her batting had a winning boundary and her bowling figures were impressive. She bowled with an economy rate of less than 2. Her seniors, as she recalls, would help her with English and the mannerisms of being in a foreign country. She reveals that players would often recall the old days when the staff was short and players had to look after each other. One would offer a massage to the other if she bowls two more overs in the nets.
These memories from an insider are gems for fans as they get closer to the game and respect the struggle that was a part of the cricketing journey in good old days.
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