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Soni Yadav, Gully Cricketer From UP To Represent India ‘A’ Women’s Team

Soni Yadav gally cricketer

Once a gully cricketer, now Soni Yadav (23) is part of the India ‘A’ women’s team and will play a T-20 tournament against Bangladesh in India. The young player is an all-rounder, a right-handed medium pacer and a right-handed middle order batswoman.

For almost a decade now, seeing the lack of girls’ company on the field, she competed with boys in her locality in Ghaziabad, UP. From swinging tennis balls to disrupt the stumps to hitting half volleys to sixes and fours, Soni is adept at it all.

Today, after eight years of training religiously, Soni finally got the nets right. All the long-hard days of slogging and swinging the bowling right to perfect her pace paid off.

Her cricketing days kick-started in Govindpuram of Ghaziabad when she used to play among boys of her age on footpaths.

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“I was the only girl in the team and I used to bowl pace, spin and even underarm depending on the situation of the gully (street) cricket. Those days I used to play cricket as I used to love this sport but I never really took up fast bowling as a career choice. It was only in class 11 that I started taking professional coaching from Sanjay Nagar sir,” said Yadav, Hindustan Times reported.

“I am still friends with those whom I played gully cricket and I still meet them. I am sure my friends Nishant and Rohit will be proud of me when they will see me playing on their TV sets,” said an elated Soni.

As an infant, Soni lost her father. Since then her mother and elder brother brought her up. Love for cricket runs in her family.

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“My father Kamlesh Yadav suffered a heart attack and passed away when I was a toddler. He used to love cricket and one day, when my mother Mithilesh Yadav realised that I had started playing with the boys in my mohalla, she told me how my father was a huge cricket fan and how my picking up this sport is a sign that this is what our family wants from me. My family never stopped me from playing cricket and gave me all the liberty I needed,” said Yadav.

A graduate from Gargi College, Delhi University, Soni is all set to lead the India A women’s team pace attack against the Bangladesh women’s team which is starting on December 12 in Belgaum, Karnataka.

“It was in my college days that I started rigorous training under Ajay Verma sir, and he has been my coach for the past six years. Under his guidance, I have played Ranji, zonal and even at the international level for India in the world cup qualifying round,” said Yadav.

 

Soni proved herself as a hero in a society which underestimates underprivileged or non-celebrity names.

“I really like his bowling and I want to deliver my bowls like Bhuvneshwar  Kumar, Indian Pacer. I also admire his strategy while bowling,” an overwhelmed Soni, who admire Kumar explained.

Soni, keep the swag on!

Also Read:  At last, gender parity in daily allowances for women’s and men’s cricket teams

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Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times

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