Achievements

‘Women cricketers in India are finding their place under the sun’

ACFA student Muskan, who has played cricket for Jalandhar at the under-19 level, talks about how she aspires to play for the Indian team

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In a country that is forever ready to bleed blue, more often than not, many of us find ourselves glued onto TV screens, especially during India versus Pakistan cricket matches. Over time, the game has become a religion for many.

Muskan, a BFA (Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts) student at Apeejay College for Fine Arts (ACFA) in Jalandhar, shares how an academy specific to women players was established a few years ago in Jalandhar. The right-hand batswoman, who played in the under-19 Punjab State Inter-District Championship 2021, says people must slowly but surely recognise women cricket players in the country with the same enthusiasm reserved for the male players.

How and when did you start playing cricket?

My first brush with the game happened in 2019, at the Jalandhar District Cricket Association where I started learning the game. Before this, I used to play badminton but my father’s keen interest in cricket inspired me to try it out. With time, I have become very passionate about the sport and my coach Mr. Ashutosh Sharma has been training me for it.

What is an average day like for a cricket player?

It certainly requires a lot of discipline. As for my schedule, I wake up at 5 in the morning and start my practice matches by 7 am on the field. Post that, between 9 to 9:30 am, I attend classes at college. Once I reach home, by 3:30 to 4 pm, I prepare for evening practice sessions which last for about 2 hours. Then, I focus on my studies and eventually call it a day.

What is your most crucial learning while playing cricket?

This is a sport that requires team-bonding more than anything else. You can have a set of best players but still can’t win a game if you don’t know what collaborative effort means. With that, one should also have self-confidence to score and perform well at the game.

What is your current focus?

I want to be part of the Indian women’s cricket team and I want to work very hard to be there. I feel that this is an exciting time for India because we are witnessing excellent women players coming from every nook and corner of the country.

As for my game, I am improving my defence and that’s my focus. I also take out time to watch older YouTube videos of matches and try to study the techniques. I am very thankful for my parents and peers who have been supportive of my endeavours and have motivated me better myself at every step.

Any tips you would want to give for fellow players?

For anyone wanting to venture in the sport, they should focus on acing the basics. This means that you have to work on becoming a strong player and practice regularly. My advice would be to study cricket carefully and only then plan out your best tactics.

“Sports is a way to stay healthy and keep fit, it inculcates the virtues of team work, leadership and discipline. It further contributes towards improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem of the students. I congratulate Muskan on her commendable achievement and express my best wishes for her future endeavours and a bright career in cricket.”

-Dr. Neerja Dhingra, Principal, ACFA, Jalandhar 

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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