From Pune’s Orphanage to ICC’s Hall Of Fame – a Fairytale Journey of Lisa Sthalekar

Behind every success, there is a tale. A tale of sweat and struggle. Cricket fans are fortunate to have these stories in abundance. They inspire people to tackle hardships and rise above them. Lisa Sthalekar has been in news recently for her induction into the ICC’s Hall of Fame. Her story is nothing short of a movie script where Lisa, as the protagonist, comes ahead of all hardships in a heroic manner.


Lisa Sthalekar inducted into ICC"s Hall of Fame
Lisa Sthalekar inducted into ICC”s Hall of Fame. PC: Twitter/sthalekar93


Her journey sets an eye-opening example in front of people who are often phased out of their lives. Very few people know that Lisa was adopted by her foster parents from an orphanage in Pune. Her birthplace is India and to the surprise of large readers, her real name was Laila. Her biological parents were not fortunate enough to support her and left her in the orphanage.

Later as it turns out, a couple from the USA came to the orphanage to adopt a son. But their eyes were stuck to the little girl. A look at Lisa did it all and soon the paperwork was done. The child was taken back to America. After living for four years in the US, it was time for some African life. Lisa stayed in Kenya as her family shifted there. Later on, Australia was chosen. It was in Australia, as we all know, that Lisa went on the path to register herself as one of the best cricketers of all time.


Lisa Sthalekar
Lisa Sthalekar


She was dominating the cricketing world as an all-rounder from the year 2001 to 2013. She has represented Australia in 187 games across different formats. In these matches, she has amassed nearly four thousand runs and two hundred wickets. For her interest in cricket, she credits her father. She says that “My father loved the game and I spent a fair bit of time with him in the backyard. I would have been about 8-9 when I fell in love with the game”.

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In the year 2002, The Guardian reported that Lisa visited the orphanage in Pune where she was adopted by her parents. She realized the dramatic manner in which her life has been shaped. Interestingly, in her book titled ‘Shaker’, she has written in detail about her life. She says that “It is hard sharing extremely personal parts of your life. Though I guess if others were to read and felt something similar at least they would know they aren’t alone, Also, some of the lessons I learned might be useful to those going through something similar”.

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