She has been with Indian women’s national team for a while and her performances have earned her a special place in the hearts of fans. She was 10 years old when she thought of playing cricket. She recalls that playing for the nation was never her plan. She candidly remembers her days of gully cricket when all she did was hit the ball through. Nonetheless, her father got her admitted into the summer camp.

For straight five years, she was playing with guys. Sanjay Gaitonde sir, as she recalls, got her playing in a match at the very first meet and selected her.

Soon she was introduced to other technicalities of the game. Terms like the front foot, back foot and defense came to her knowledge. She was fond of her playing days, but her venture was only for summer and the Mumbai rain took her joy away. She got herself enrolled in an academy in Borivali, Mumbai. Interestingly, there were no counterparts from her gender. For straight five years, she was playing with guys. Sanjay Gaitonde sir, as she recalls, got her playing in a match at the very first meet and selected her.

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It was here that her journey into serious sport took off. She was enrolled in a girl’s academy and from there went in the Bombay U-19 team. Her cricketing venture had inputs from many coaches including Sanjay Gaitonde sir. Her first ODI debut was in the World Cup. She had a good spell in domestic but international debut made her nervous. Interestingly, all her debuts in all cricketing failures were duck which took away the fear of failing in first go.

To all the girls who wish to play cricket, she thinks that seriousness and dedication are the eminent factors. She feels everyone should give their best at a certain phase in life.

Punam and Deepti got a partnership of 320 runs. This feat is not yet achieved by any great of the game. On her ups and downs, she mentions instances when she was dropped from the limited-overs side. She feels that one has to rise to make a comeback. She emphasizes on thinking positive and not take things for granted. Her roots have been testing and have made her realize that nothing comes without work. A comeback is more demanding than a debut. Her career has been more than a delight.

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Even on losing a close final and scoring 86, she did not anticipate a warm welcome from the Mumbaikars. Apart from the field, Punam seems to enjoy her time off the field. From songs to dishes, she is a happy go girl from Mumbai. To all the girls who wish to play cricket, she thinks that seriousness and dedication are the eminent factors. She feels everyone should give their best at a certain phase in life. Her journey, her story, and everything is an inspiration. We wish that India sees more faces and stories like her.

Image Credit: Hindustan Times

This story was first published on Female Cricket.

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