Right from Polly Umrigar to Prithvi Shaw, the maidans of Mumbai have produced so many talented batsmen which includes the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Rohit Sharma, Ravi Shastri, Ajinkya Rahane, Ajit Wadekar, Vijay Merchant, Dilip Vengsarkar... the list is never-ending.
The list is on the verge of getting their first female entrant in 16-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues.
Who is Jemimah Rodrigues?
Jemimah is a 16-year-old right-handed opening bat, who scored a stunning unbeaten 163-ball 202 representing Mumbai in 'BCCI's under 19 women's One Day league and knockout tournament' match against Saurashtra at Aurangabad.
She has been on a completely different level since the start of the tournament as she has registered a 142-ball 178 prior to her first double century. She is also the leading run-getter in the tournament with 397 runs in three innings at an average of 198.5.
She started playing cricket (leather ball) at the age of four and was first drafted into the U-19 side when she was only 13. Adding to this, she has also represented Mumbai and Maharashtra in age group Hockey tournaments.
"I was four when I first started playing Cricket. My parents are the main reason why I am playing cricket. They have supported me a lot since day one and continue to do so. I have two elder brothers who like to play Cricket. I am the only girl in my house and I am a kind of person who doesn't like to sit in one place. So, watching them, I started playing Cricket," she told Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview.
About her knock...
Not often you see someone score a double-century in a 50-over game. There were only a handful instances of the landmark being breached in men's cricket and to achieve that feat being a 16-year-old girl playing against much more older bowlers in an under 19 match is quite remarkable.
Jemimah's 202* is the second highest by an Indian girl in the under 19 level and the only one above her is Indian opener Smriti Mandhana, who scored 224 off just 15 balls against Gujarat in 2013.
Talking about her knock, she said "first thing is that I am really really grateful to God. Without him, I could have never done this. I feel really happy and grateful to everyone who helped me till date. I am also really blessed to have scored this double century in front of my parents. After scoring 178 against Gujarat, I was thinking that scoring 200 is possible. Yesterday, I was looking to play as straight as possible and not commit any silly mistake."
Her idol and inspiration
Jemimah, a class XII student of Rizvi College, is a big fan of her fellow Mumbaikar and Indian ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma and idolizes the right-hander. The way Rohit builds his innings is something his fan has learnt from him and she just tries to do that whenever she goes out to bat.
"He is a very classy batsman. Whenever you see him bat, he will make sure that you are glued to the TV screen till he bats. That's why I like his batting a lot. He is a classy batsman who makes batting look effortless. One thing I learnt from him is the way he builds his innings. He doesn't care about the bowler, be it the World's fastest or the World's best, he just looks at the ball and if it is in his range, he just whacks it. I just try to repeat the same thing when I go out to bat," she concluded.
Just like any other Indian cricketer, her ultimate aim is to play and do well for the Indian eves. She has been prolific in the Indian domestic circuit as she averaged over 320 in the same tournament last year.
She continued the good work by piling on the runs in the 2017 edition as well. With the senior women's season officially getting underway in December, it won't be a surprise if Jemimah Rodrigues finds a place in the Mumbai side. It is just a matter of time before she dons the Indian colours.Published 06 Nov 2017, 14:15 IST