Apart from finishing runners-up in the national T-20 championship, the city’s women cricketers have won a host of tournaments

Far away from the glare, women cricketers from the city, under coach Abdul Bari Wahab, have ensured that they end the season on a decent high – finishing runners-up in the All India T-20 championship in Pune.

Led by the indefatigable Diana David (it was Shravanthi Naidu who led the State team in the zonals when Diana, Shalini, Mamata, Pranitha and Kavya missed them because of exams and other commitments), the cricketers proved what collective effort is all about. Incidentally, this was the fifth consecutive final for the Hyderabad eves.

The girls also finished runners-up in the South Zone under-16, joint-winner in the under-19 category and winner in the 50-over zonals, in stark contrast to the men’s and boys’ teams in different age groups, which have struggled to register even a solitary win in the zonals.

Wahab means business

The success of the womens’ team is largely the effort of coach Wahab. With his no-nonsense approach, even while being a fatherly figure to the girls, he knows what players expect from him. Even better, how to produce results. Just what he did as a gutsy Ranji all-rounder, when he sent back Ajit Wadekar, Hanumanth Singh and Amber Roy on successive deliveries — the first hat-trick in the Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup history.

Backed to the hilt

“I am lucky that the players gave more than 100 per cent on the field. And this was possible because of the unstinted support of the HCA Academy Director Kanwaljit Singh, coaches S.L. Venkatapathi Raju, Vivek Jaisimha and HCA secretary Dr. M. V. Sridhar,” Wahab insists. “There was never a reason to complain and the players simply enjoyed the training sessions and were always in the right frame of mind for the big events,” he pointed out.

It was a team effort all the way and the contribution of assistant coaches Savita Nirala and Noshir Al-Khader was equally important to keep the players in match-fit condition, says Wahab.

The players are only too proud of the season’s achievements. While they go home for a break now, they will rejoin their favourite coach for regular training at the Gymkhana Ground in late summer.

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