Shillong, Dec 15: Four Meghalaya women cricketers and two who played for the state as guest players have been selected to take part in a tour of the United Arab Emirates from 19th December, it was announced by the Meghalaya Cricket Association today.
The four are (pictured from left) Neha Hajong, Debasmita Dutta, Daiaka Emigale Warjri and Deiphibapynshngain L Mawnai. The two guest players who have also been selected are Saee Purandare and Vandana Mahajan.
All six have been chosen for the 10-day tour, which will be coached and managed by a National Cricket Academy coach, for the team ‘Pathbreakers’, which is sponsored by Play True, a Thiruvananthapuram-based firm, in association with G-Force Academy, one of the oldest cricket academies in the UAE.
This will be the first girls’ cricket team to tour the Arab country. The idea behind Pathbreakers is to field a team of girls drawn from different cultures and who speak different languages but who are “united by a common passion and dream”.
Dutta, who is a resident of Rynjah and an MBA graduate who had earlier played for the Karnataka junior team when the MCA was yet to be affiliated to the BCCI, was elated, saying, “The feeling is great as to get such a wonderful opportunity. We were really surprised since we know that it’s been only two years since our state team has been participating in BCCI tournaments and having been selected for this big tour is a big thing for me and my team mates.”
Warjri, from Mairang and studying in Synod College, thanked God, her coach and the MCA for the golden opportunity to play outside the country. “It’s the greatest blessing for me to be on this journey as cricket is not just a game for me but something else … I’m passionate about. Where I’m from cricket is not as popular as football or any other sport, hence I want to be the example for others in my community,” she said.
Hajong, who is studying for a BCom at St. Anthony’s College, is also thrilled on being selected after her good performance in BCCI tournaments. Similarly, Mawnai, who is studying at Shillong College and is a resident of Mairang, thanked her mentors Peter Jarman Lamare and Leonard Wankhar for grooming them to be good cricketers.
“The MCA is proud of the girls, who are currently in the state team in the Under-23 and senior teams, for making it big. This way the game of cricket will be popularised in the remote places of the state and more girls will come out to play cricket which promises a bright future for them,” the MCA said in a press release.
Mawnai took 10 wickets for the U-19 and U-23 women’s teams last season, Hajong scored 154 runs for the U-23 and senior sides, Warjri took six wickets and a handful of runs and Dutta scored 82 runs (the most for a Meghalaya player) in the Women’s Senior T20 Trophy and claimed 18 wickets (again the most for Meghalaya player) in the Women’s Senior One Day Trophy.