Story Of Asha Shobana: From Paper Balls to India’s Star Spinner

Indian leg-spinner Asha Shobana has become one of the most talked about names in women’s cricket. She began her ODI debut with a remarkable performance, leading the Indian cricket team to a dominant 143-run win over South Africa in the opening match of the ongoing multi-format series at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. 

Asha Shobana impressed one and all with her sensational bowling as she picked up a four-wicket haul (4/21) in her debut match, which helped the hosts bowl out South Africa for a mere 122 runs, after a solid batting display by Smriti Mandhana.


This remarkable debut follows Asha’s historic achievement as the oldest Indian woman cricketer to make an international debut, a testament to her perseverance and dedication. Just like our inspiring cricketers, you can also feel the thrill with games like Lucky 7 at
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India’s bowling line-up, led by Shobana’s leg-spin bowling, shattered the South African batting line-up in the first match. 

Speaking about her performance, Sobhana said, “I just kept it simple, I wanted to bowl in the right areas, I was in a good rhythm, I wanted to continue. I have been practicing this [legspin] for years, I did not want to do anything extraordinary, wanted to focus on the basics. There was a lot for turn on the wicket, did not want to give space to the batters, wanted to vary the pace so that the batters don’t pick my variations.”

Asha credited her teammates and the team management for supporting and believing in her abilities. She said: “This stadium is very special for me, by the grace of god everything went well. Pitch is amazing and a little bit of my effort as well. I woke up in the morning today and prayed to god that everything should go well, glad that it went well. [on what the management told her earlier today] They just told me to enjoy, they had lot of confidence in my skills, they wanted me to go out and explore. [on if she is disappointed at not picking a fifer] Not really, I’m happy that my nation won,” 

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Earlier, she created history by becoming the oldest Indian woman cricketer to make an international debut, during the  4th T20I against Bangladesh at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. Sobhana received her debut cap by Smriti Mandhana at the age of 33 years and 51 days, breaking the record of Seema Pujare who debuted in 2008 at the age of 32 years and 50 days.

Who is Asha Shobhana?

While Asha Shobhana has been receiving praise for her brilliant bowling skills, her journey to stardom hasn’t been an easy one. Asha Shobhana’s cricketing journey is one of defying odds and following her passion. Coming from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Asha’s love for cricket began during her school days at Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School.

From Paper Balls to Becoming The WPL Star

Her journey to representing the Indian cricket team started early on. At the very young age of 12, Asha Shobhana participated in district cricket trials, without informing her parents and got selected for the team. Asha started as a fast bowler, initially, however, her coach noticed her bowling leg-spin one day and recognized her talent, Asha encouraged her to switch to leg-spin. This crucial advice from her coach proved to be a career-defining moment for her. 

Asha was only 14 years old when she debuted for the senior Kerala team. Her dedication led her to train at the prestigious MAC Spin Foundation at 15, where she even impressed the legendary Shane Warne’s coach, Terry Jenner.

Despite her unwavering talent, the road wasn’t smooth for her. Asha faced a lot of financial challenges, coming from a modest family. 

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However, her hard work paid off. Asha established herself as a force to reckon with in domestic cricket, playing a key role in Railways’ win in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy 2019. 

Asha’s rise to international cricket was boosted by her performances in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024. She played an instrumental role in the success of  Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in WPL 2024. She emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with 12 scalps with an impressive average of 15.41.

Asha’s best performance in WPL 2024 came against UP Warriorz, where she picked a five-wicket haul. This performance was crucial in RCB’s win in the WPL 2024 finals. 

“WPL and RCB have played a major role in my life,” Asha said ahead of the 2nd ODI against SA. “It was not easy for me to come to the international level. Playing in such crowded stadiums… that experience RCB gave me”

She added: “And the Chinnaswamy Stadium has been very special, even before I started playing for RCB, from my under-19 days. Whenever I have bowled here, I have got some advantage,” 

Making Debut At The Age Of 33:

In 2024, at the age of 33, she received her maiden call-up to the Indian Women’s Cricket team. It was an incredible milestone for her after years of hard work. Her story is an inspiration to many young aspiring cricketers around the world. Dreams do come true, and Asha has proved that.

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