The Indian women’s team failed to win their maiden World Cup title after suffering a defeat to England by nine runs at Lords. While they might have been unsuccessful in their attempt to secure the elusive crown, what they surely managed to do is win hearts by their performances and revolutionise the sport in India. One of the flag bearers of this change is Uttarakhand’s Ekta Bisht. Hailing from Almora district, Ekta Bisht, while speaking to the indianexpress.com said that her journey to represent India in the World Cup has been nothing less a dream come.
“Representing India was something I used to dream about since my childhood. With the support of my parents and my brother, I managed to make my dream come true. Playing a World Cup for the country was nothing less than a fairy tale,” Ekta said.
Being the first female cricketer to emerge from Uttrakhand, Ekta feels she could not have made it big if her family had not supported her. After retiring from the Indian army, her father Kundan Singh Bisht, opened a tea stall to make sure that his daughter could chase her dreams.
“I started playing cricket at the age of six. There was not even a proper stadium to play. I had to train in limited space and sometimes got hit. Training there was never easy but I didn’t let my mind divert. Even my brother played a supportive role. Playing with him and his friends was always fun and a new challenge every day.”
Speaking about the development of her game, Ekta recalled that it was her coach’s (Liyakat Ali) continuous support and advice which helped her to take her game to another level. “Initially I played with plastic balls and loved batting. But it was only after getting introduced to Liyakat Ali Khan sir, my focus started to shift from batting to bowling. In my early years, I preferred bowled medium pace but sir suggested me to bowl spin. I was not happy that time but later realised that it is for my good.”
Ekta, who caught the limelight for her match-winning performance of 5/18 against Pakistan, said it was a different feeling altogether to help the team defend a total of 170.
“It was not an easy task to defend a total of just 170. But Mithu di and Jhulan di backed us and didn’t let the pressure build on us. It was great to contribute to the team’s victory,” said Ekta.
When asked what was going in her mind while bowling to Pakistan batters, the left-arm orthodox bowler said, “Pitch conditions were helping us and it was windy. After wins over England and West Indies and with wickets coming easily, we were confident that this game is still in our hands.”
Talking to Indianexpress.com during Indian women’s team felicitation ceremony in Delhi, she also said that it is after their world cup performance that the people back home have started recognising her and she is looking forward to the next World T20.