Cricket

Jemimah Rodrigues: ‘It warms my heart to see young girls take up sports’

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Jemimah Rodrigues of India bats during the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA on February 24, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Jemimah Rodrigues of India bats during the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Bangladesh at WACA on February 24, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)   | Photo Credit: Paul Kane

The 19-year-old cricketer Jemimah Rodrigues, who is currently in Australia at the ICC Women’s T20, on playing for India and women’s sport in the country

Jemimah Rodrigues is the new generation woman cricketer, athletic and aggressive. The 19-year-old has talent and confidence, which she showcases with a flair rarely seen in Indian women’s cricket. Promising to play an important role in India’s campaign at the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Jemimah talks about her dedication to the sport while retaining her fun-loving personality, and on playing for the country. Edited excerpts from an interview.

Your thoughts on your journey to the World Cup?

As a young girl, I always wanted to play cricket for India, and ever since I got selected for India, it was my dream to represent our country at the World Cup. Now, after so many years when I look back, those hours and hours of practice, sacrifices, and fitness have finally paid off, as the day has come when I am finally playing the World Cup. It's very special for me and I hope I do well.

Jemimah Rodrigues poses with her bat

Jemimah Rodrigues poses with her bat   | Photo Credit: Courtesy @JemiRodrigues on Twitter

You have brought in a lot of fun to the team. How does it help?

I think it's very important to maintain that balance in cricket. Along with focus, concentration, and dedication, it's important to have some fun and to enjoy what you do. So, for me, it's simple. I don't try to do anything extra. I just try to be the person I am, and I am a fun-loving person.

How serious are you with your love for music and playing guitar?

Honestly, I am more serious about cricket than I am about music. I just play guitar as a hobby. I am not able to get that much time [with music currently], but I hope to learn guitar professionally and get better at it.

What brings you joy on and off the field?

I think it will be my family. I know [that regardless of] whether I have a good day, my family will always love me for who I am. Another thing that really warms my heart is to see young girls take up sports and come out to play — Powerade’s campaign #PowerHasNoGender [which she endorses] celebrates these women, who put in long hours of practice, every single day to achieve their dream of representing India at the global level.

With her pet dog Theo

With her pet dog Theo   | Photo Credit: Courtesy @JemiRodrigues on Twitter

Do you believe this team has changed the mindset of people towards women’s cricket?

Definitely. Especially after the 2017 World Cup, women's cricket has drastically changed the mindset of people towards women playing the sport — hats off to these girls. Even this World Cup now, is important for us to do well as a team, and as individuals because that is going to set the tone of women’s cricket in India. Winning the World Cup will hopefully inspire other young women, who are passionate about sports and wish to pursue it at an international level.

What would you like to change about women's sport in India?

I think more than anything else, [a sense of] self-belief needs to be maintained — that there's nothing that a woman cannot do.

What is your fitness regimen?

Throughout the week, I have strength and conditioning training each on alternative days. Sundays are rest days. Personally, there are a few things that I never compromise on: I never miss a workout, hydrate regularly, and get proper rest. We require liquids that build endurance and can replenish lost body salts. My personal favourite is Powerade.

What is the influence of W.V. Raman, the coach and how does that percolate to you?

I think Raman Sir has been very helpful for each and every player in our team. More than anything else, it’s the experience that he has. The best part about him is that he can relate to us, as he understands what we face as cricketers.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 12:31:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/jemimah-rodrigues-it-warms-my-heart-to-see-young-girls-take-up-sports/article30929488.ece

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