Not all heroes wear capes and not all of them necessarily have to be men. In the world of Dhoni, Sachin, Kohli and more, women players too have been making unparalleled strides. In fact, they are giving stiff competition to their international counterparts as well. A new hero for India in the cricket fraternity, Sneha Rana is a fitting example.
She, along with Shafali Verma, has recently been nominated for ICC Women’s ‘Player of the Month’ award for June. England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone too has been nominated for the award. However, what makes Sneha Rana deserving of all the praise and accolades is her stellar performances in the field, despite the personal loss and tragedy she experienced.
She lost her 61-year old father, Bhagwant Singh, to a heart attack. He was said to have been an instrumental figure in Sneha’s cricket career. Before that, she had a knee injury which resulted in loss of her form. Because of this, she did not play for India for the past five years. However, she made a grand comeback as she picked up 18 wickets for the Mithali Raj-led Railways in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy 2020-21.
Being an all-rounder player, a national call-up was on the cards and she even made a spectacular debut as she became the first Indian woman cricketer and fourth in history to score a half-century and bag a 4-wicket haul on Test debut.
Hailing from Sinaula Village, Uttarakhand, Sneha’s knack for cricket was first spotted by Kiran Sah, a cricket coach at the Little Masters Cricket Academy in Dehradun. With her father’s support and Kiran’s, Sneha went on to join the academy at the age of 9. Discipline, dedication and hard work led her to make headway in the cricket fraternity at the domestic level. However, Sneha made her India debut in 2014 when she played 12 matches for the country in white-ball cricket.
“Many people think we cannot make a comeback or making a comeback in international (cricket) is difficult, especially in women’s cricket. So I feel because of me, some people would have been inspired and we should not give up,” Sneha said.