The woman who kept choosing cricket even after many hurdles, India’s comeback queen Rumeli Dhar has chosen to announce her retirement from international cricket. An elegant top-order batter, a medium-pacer with an eye as sharp as an eagle and a blistering fielder, a true all-rounder in every possible aspect, and also a former skipper of the Women in Blue. Dhar’s contribution to cricket is unmissable and her story, a guiding light to many young girls and women who are determined to achieve something extraordinary in cricket, in life.
The Kolkata-born Indian star made her debut in 2003 against England and she turned the tables for her career after giving several match-winning performances in the 2005 World Cup in South Africa. After a great effort from Rumeli and the team, India went on to reach their first World Cup finals but were defeated by Australia. But this was the tournament that made Rumeli Dhar, a name people remembered, watched out for, rooted for.
But Dhar’s cricket career was much more than runs and wickets. It was a career that was hindered by several injuries. But her story is not that of injuries, it is the one of comebacks. In 2012, after sustaining a shoulder injury, she was dropped from the national team for 8 years when she went back to playing domestic cricket. In 2018, she made her comeback. Life came full circles for her as she was supposed to make her comeback on the same ground at which India played their 2005 World Cup finals!
Rumeli Dhar took to her Instagram to announce her retirement,
“23 years of my cricket career that started from Shyamnagar in West Bengal, has finally come to an end as I announce my retirement from all formats of cricket. The journey has been a prolonged one with highs and lows. The high was representing the Indian women’s cricket team, playing the World Cup final in 2005 as well as leading the Women in Blue. A string of injuries plagued my career but I always came back stronger to make it count. Today as I bid adieu to the sport I have always loved, I thank my family, the BCCI, my friends, the teams I represented (Bengal, Railways, Air India, Delhi, Rajasthan and Assam) for believing in my abilities and giving me the opportunity to play for their teams. They helped pave my way towards the India team. Each match in this prolonged career taught me a lesson that will help in my second innings. Like all journeys, mine will end as a cricketer today, but I promise to be associated with the sport and help nurture young talents in the country, giving back to the game in every way possible”.
23 Years, 4 Tests, 78 ODIs and 18 T20Is in cricket and over 1300 runs and 84 wickets in international cricket, Dhar is all set to bid adieu to this wonderful sport and to march on to the second innings, certain to be conquered!
The 22 Yard stretch that molded me, is what I hold sacred. A cricketer weaving life’s innings into words. A Rohit Sharma Admirer always. I believe writing and cricket aren’t passions, but ways of life, so truly living the dream!