Have you ever felt that feeling of excitement filled with nervousness when going for a large-scale event or representing your nation in a sporting event, especially for the very first time?
It is, without doubt, a special and proud one accompanied by a mix of emotions. While we witnessed several such moments in sports in the past few months, the women duo of Kshama Sane and Sushma Sawant got to experience it during the ongoing test between the first World Test Championship finalists, India, and New Zealand.
India is hosting the 2021 T20 World Cup Runners-up for three T20Is and two Tests which has brought cricket back to the stadiums of the country which accounts for over 85% of cricket fans. Having won all of the three T20Is, the first test ended up in a close draw due to suspension of the last couple of hours of available play due to bad light. The second test which began on Friday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai has been a one-sided game with India dominating from the start. Though we did witness a historic 10-wicket figure for Mumbai born Black Caps player Ajaz Patel in the first innings, the other 10 players have failed to contribute as a result of which the scorecard at end of the second day itself confirms an easy victory for India until and unless an unexpected situation arises.
Adding to the spirit of the match are Kshama Sane and Sushma Sawant on scorer duty making them the first women pair to do the job at the Wankhede and also marking their maiden test appearance as scorers.
Sushma Sawant and Kshama Sane are from the first batch of the BCCI’s women scorers when in 2010 the Indian cricket board began to encourage women to take up scoring seriously.
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— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) December 4, 2021
Keeping the scores is a very difficult task especially in a match like this when wickets fall at regular intervals with the second day alone witnessing a total of 16 wickets falling after Patel took the remaining 6 wickets early in the day to end India’s first inning which was followed by a very disappointing performance by the BlackCaps who recorded the lowest test total ever against India, being bowled out for just 62 and then India taking over the charge again, deciding to not give follow on.
Belonging to the first batch of BCCI’s women scorers after the board encouraged women of the country to take up the responsibility, 50 years old Sushma took up the role as a hobby after being inspired by her husband who is a local cricketer who often plays Times Shield and Purushottam Shield while Kshama who is five years younger to Sushma, was pushed into the sport by her mother and got devoted towards it full time in 2018 after leaving her job. Prior to this test, she has scored in a few IPL matches, a T20I in 2017, ODI between India and Australia in January 2020.
A news18 report shared their excitement after the first day of the match, Sushma who had earlier scored in the 2013 women’s world cup said “I was not nervous at all. Since I have done many Ranji Trophy and IPL matches, scoring is of the same pattern. I was only excited to be scoring in my first Test match.” While it was a nervous moment for Kshama who said, “I was sure the game would start on Friday. At the Wankhede Stadium, the water seepage is not much with the way the ground is structured. I knew that with sunshine, the outfield would be dry soon. When the Test actually started, I was really happy to acknowledge the umpire’s signals. My 12-year-old nephew asked me where I sit and if I would come on TV. I told him that whenever the umpire signals for a boundary or no ball, you will know that I am the one acknowledging him. Not many are aware of the role the scorers play.”
Being given this prestigious opportunity, both of them acknowledged the role played by senior scorers Pritam Parab, Ramesh Parab among all others in guiding them as scorers. Moving a step ahead with their role, both of them aim to be scorers in a men’s World Cup game, probably the 2023 World Cup which will be hosted by India.
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