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

 thehindu.com  02/27/2020 08:13:42  2

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 womens cricket. Promising to play an important role in Indias campaign at the ongoing ICC Womens 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.

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  Powerades 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.

Do you believe this team has changed the mindset of people towards womens 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 womens 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, its 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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