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Jemimah Rodrigues

Mumbai-based woman cricketer Jemimah Rodrigues is receiving excellent notices in the national and international sports media. On February 5, this plucky 17-year-old skipper of Mumbai’s Under-19 and Under-23 teams will make her debut for India in the one day international (ODI) series against South Africa, organised by the ICC (International Cricket Council), Dubai. A right hand batswoman, Jemimah is the youngest of the 16-member national women’s team.

Jemimah’s elevation to the senior women’s cricket team is hardly surprising. Finishing her domestic 2017 cricket season with a massive aggregate of 1,013 runs — including an unbeaten double century and six centuries — scored in 11 matches played in the inter-state U-19 one-day tournaments last November, she made history by becoming the first batswoman to score 1,000-plus runs in a women’s Under-19 ODI cricket tournament. A fortnight later, she was selected for the India ‘A’ team to play a series against Bangladesh which India won easily.

Sport runs in the Rodrigues family. Jemimah’s father Ivan Rodrigues is a former player of the Vijay Merchant-promoted Kanga League, and introduced the vintage male-dominated sport to all his three children. Although vocationally he runs a tutorial business, cricket remains his primary extra-curricular passion. Jemima, the youngest of the siblings, picked up a cricket ball when she was just four. Four years later, she was selected as a medium pace bowler by the Mumbai Cricket Association after trial nets. At 14, she made her debut in the Mumbai senior women’s team and two years later, was assigned leadership of Mumbai’s U-19 and U-23 women’s teams.

Currently a class XII student of the Rizvi College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Jemimah is enthused about donning India colours. “I am now looking forward to playing with my idol, India captain Mithali Raj,” says this precocious teenager.

Practising hard for the South Africa series, Jemimah may have to forgo her class XII board examinations scheduled for this month (February). “It’s always difficult to balance academics with sport. But I’ll figure out a way because I believe only a sound education can inculcate a spirit of sports(wo)manship,” says Jemimah, who is determined to change the public perception of sportswomen by making a name for herself in this popular, male-dominated sport.

Power to your willow, Sis!

Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)

83 Views  | Posted on: 8 Feb,2018 Add Comment  Show Comments (0)