Left-arm spinner, Preeti Bose from Haryana recently realised her dream of playing for India when she made her debut against Sri Lanka in Ranchi. The 23-year old became the first woman from Haryana to play for the women’s national team when she took the field on February 19 in the last ODI of the three-match series.
While the India Women’s team swept the series 3-0, Bose made an impression by grabbing two wickets on debut. She bowled an exceptional spell of eight overs with four maidens while giving away only eight runs. “It was a dream come true for me. Living in a remote village of Haryana, I did not even have a clue that women can also represent the country in the sport. It was a heavenly experience to be sharing the dressing room with senior cricketers like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur. I will work harder to retain my place in the team,” said the cricketer who hails from Sandal Kalan village near Sonepat in Haryana.
Presently representing North Zone in the inter-zonal tournament for seniors in Guntur, Bose said, “I feel fortunate to have got the chance to play at India level. Getting a job on the same day was like icing on the cake. Now, my focus will be to raise my game further and maintain good form. All senior cricketers in the team were very supportive and helped me hold my nerve in the debut game.”
However, it was not easy to convince her parents, who thought sports was not for girls. Her father, Rakam Singh Bose wanted her to concentrate on her studies rather than pursuing the game. But the spinner defied all odds, and did well at the district and state level to make her presence felt. Thereafter, Rohtak-based coach Mahipal Singh took Bose under his wings and trained her to become an effective left-arm spinner. It was during the Challenger Trophy in 2015, where Bose caught the attention of senior cricketers and selectors. She played a key role in India Blue’s title triumph with a five-wicket haul in the final. She also finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets from three matches. Earlier, in 2013 she had also represented India ‘A’.
Bose, who has done her Masters in Yoga Science, idolizes former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori. After her India debut, she has become a star in her village and received a warm-welcome when she returned after playing against Sri Lanka. Her father and siblings are part-time farmers and labourers. “My family has now become very encouraging and supportive. The sport they were opposing has brought recognition and employment to me. I hope seeing me take cricket seriously, other girls from small villages of Haryana also get motivated and are able to pursue their dreams,” felt Bose.
HPCA promotes ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ drive in the hill state
In its bid to promote and popularize the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) organized an event in Shimla. By doing so, HPCA became the first cricket association in India to promote ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. HPCA President, Anurag Thakur and HP Governor Acharya Devvrat were also present at the event which was attended in large numbers by the people. The HPCA named their campaign ‘Swachh Himachal – Padhai bhi, Safai bhi.’
Left-arm spinner, Mayank Dagar, who was part of the Under-19 India team during the ICC Cricket World Cup, 2016 also pledged to the campaign. The launch event saw the unveiling of the Swachhta brochure in the presence of over 1,000 students and teachers from various educational institutions of Himachal Pradesh.
The campaign aims at creating awareness and understanding among the youth about the benefits of leading a clean, green and healthy lifestyle. This campaign will be driven throughout the state, across 12 districts, urban and rural areas. The initiative will be primarily led by youth hailing from school, universities, educational institutes such as ITI’s, technical universities, Yuva Kendra, Mahila Mandal, etc. According to HPCA officials, in order to motivate and incentivize the youth, various opportunities will be offered such as - interactive sessions and cricket clinics with renowned Indian cricketers, chance to watch live matches at the stadium, etc.
Speaking during the launch event, Anurag Thakur, President HPCA and Member of Parliament, Hamirpur, said, “HPCA from the beginning has been a community driven association committed towards the betterment of the society. The association has a history of serving the society by adopting noble initiatives which have impacted the society positively. ‘Padhai bhi, Safai bhi’ campaign is another attempt of the association aimed at promoting good health and sanitation in the state.”