The Indian women’s cricket team in the blue jersey this year grabbed all the eyeballs across the country after they reached the World Cup-2017 finals. With this successful journey the popularity of Indian women cricketers increased manifold. One of the key players of the Indian women cricket team and our own ‘Kannadathi’ who gave a splendid performance in the final league match against New Zealand by taking five wickets ‘Rajeshwari Gayakwad’ took time out for a conversation with CityToday
Rajeshwari who was invited for the state-level Dasara Sports Meet-2017 in the city as the chief guest, shared her journey so far and on her first visit and experience in the city during Dasara festivities.
Excerpts from the interview
You took part as a ‘chief guest’ at the state-level Dasara Sports Meet. How did you feel?
I felt really happy to be part of this prestigious sports meet held during the Dasara. If I recall my days back, I used to be a participant who sat on the ground listening to the speeches of the invited guests on such occasions. But today I feel really proud to address so many sports enthusiasts and this is a memorable even
I started my cricket journey in my late teens. I used to participate in various sports competitions and sports meets, but to be frank I never knew about women playing cricket. I remember myself watching a women’s cricket match and I started developing interest towards the game. I initially started playing with my cousin and family members near my house, but I started my formal coaching in 2008.
Who has been your real inspiration in life? How was the support from your parents?
‘My father’ is my real inspiration. It was my father who supported me to foray into sports and encouraged me to take up cricket professionally. He was the one who made me join the cricket coaching camps. We are five children to our parents and they always supported us a lot to take up sports.
How was life before and now after the World Cup?
The major difference is that earlier people would recognise me as a cricketer and never remembered my name, but now after the success of the World Cup – the people who came to know that there was this girl would recognise me as ‘Rajeshwari’ who played the World Cup finals.
Is this your first visit to Mysuru during Dasara? What is common about your native place Vijayapura and Mysuru?
I have visited Mysuru many times but it was only to play cricket. Few of my friends stay here in the city. I had heard about the grandeur of Dasara in the city but never had an opportunity to take part. This is my first visit to the city during the Dasara festivities. Vijayapura is known for its historical monuments and is called as the historical city. Even Mysuru is known for its history and heritage structures and this is the common feature between the two cities. The one thing special thing I feel happy about Mysuru is the salubrious weather of this beautiful city.
What is your message to all young girls and women who are aspiring to be a sportsperson?
My only message to them is to be confident and never lose hope. Always give your best and wait for the right opportunity.
-By Karthik K K