The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of stress and anxiety worldwide, especially in the sporting sector. Cricketers, who are used to spending time out in the middle, week in and week out, have now been confined to the walls of their house. Even on their off days, all sportsmen prefer to spend time in training sessions and gyms to sharpen their skills and maintain them.

Too much time off from the game, as we saw with Smith and Warner on their first few weeks after return, can rusty the players’ skills. During all this free time, the U23 Jharkhand women’s team captain, Rashmi Gudia, has decided to remain physically active and also help her aging father at the same time by collecting wood from a forest in Orissa.

The 22-year-old led her state team in BCCI’s U23 Women’s tournament last year and spends her day in lockdown by collecting firewood, which her family uses for cooking and selling.

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Watching my father walk alone to collect wood from the forest pains me a lot, so I decided to join him. We walk 20 km to and fro for the wood early in the morning as we don’t have any vehicle,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.

This activity helps in her regular cardiovascular endurance training. Along with this, Rashmi said, “I do shadow practice and use a borrowed Thera band for stretching exercises.”

In an interview with The Telegraph online, the 22-year old spoke about her early days in cricket. After narrowly missing out on the Odisha U19 team’s selection, Gudia tried out for the Jharkhand outfit.

“My coach advised me to try my luck in Jharkhand. I was lucky to get selected in the Jharkhand side. I also went on to captain the state under-19 side and the under-23 outfit. I want to make a career out of cricket,” says the Jharkhand captain. The journey has not been an easy one for the 22-year old, as her family faced many economic hardships. Her father has become an elderly man, and her mother being a homemaker, can’t provide all the luxuries some of us are so used to.

The youngster, wise beyond her years, spoke about the responsibility she had towards her family, and how proud fulfilling that makes her, “I think it is my responsibility as a daughter to lend a helping hand. In fact, it makes me feel proud.

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The pandemic has also caused immense financial hardships for people all across, especially the rural communities. In her interview, Rashmi said that most of her savings have now been exhausted, but remains hopeful for cricket to return and everything being normal once again. We sincerely hope so too!

Image Credit: Female Cricket

This article was published first on Female Cricket.

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