Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Like any other Indian cricketer in the teenage, this is one who idolizes Sachin Tendulkar. Like any other cricketer, this is one that likes to do things with both the bat and the ball. Like the idol called Sachin Tendulkar, this cricketer also opens the innings, though bats lefthanded, and bowls leg breaks. Like the idol called SachinTendulkar, this cricketer has won the Player of the Series in the debut series – the Asia Cup.The only difference is that this cricketer should be referred to as a she – yes, this young teenager from Chennai, M D Thirushkamini, all of16, won a lot many hearts with the Asia Cup for India, where she was the mainstay with the bat and the ball. "I have loved cricket –particularly watching Tendulkar play", she says of her initiation into cricket.

Her father, Dickeshwashankar, though would have preferred her taking to hockey – the sport that he played with élan for Chennai Port Trust – even managing to play along side legends like Samiullah ofPakistan. "I am happy that she has reached where she is – and hope she goes the whole hog", he says of his daughter.Practising six hours a day is not a joke – particularly if you are in Class XII – "The school has been extremely cooperative", she gushes ofthe help that Church Park have been extending her. "Batting, bowling,fielding, gym exercises are some of the things that I do on a daily basis", she explains, as though she has missed out something. But when all this hard work pays off in the end, as it has forThirushkamini, it is all worth it."I had no problems adjusting to the India seniors team", she declares with the confidence of someone who has played for donkey's years in the Indian team a la Sachin Tendulkar. "The seniors were very helping and gave me important tips on the ground", she adds. She seems to be entirely happy with her performance so far, though the run out in an Asia Cup still rankles her. "The ball ricocheted off the bowlers fingers to the stumps – that is the most unfortunate of all", she says.

True words of a cricketer who is hungry for runs."She has shown tremendous application and is very talented – in fact much more talented than legendary women cricketers", informs SudhaShah, the coach of the Indian women's team. "She has the potential and the hard work she puts in will definitely take her places, and her performance in the Asia Cup was simply superb for anyone, leave alone a debutant", gushes Shah.It is now time for the women's cricketing world to sit up and take notice – and this sounds double ominous for them – Thirushkamini's sister Sugaragamini is already an accomplished player in the sub junior ranks, and waiting in the wings, literally. It would be a deadly combination to unleash if both sisters play to their fullest potential. May be then, they will emerge as the Sachin Tendulkars of women's cricket.


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