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Inter-university women's cricket: Hard work pays off for Himachal's duo

Guru Nanak Dev University's Dewkala Thakur and Anisha Ansari happy to send a major part of Rs 25,000 prize money to their poor families in Himachal

Guru Nanak Dev University's (GNDU) Anisha Ansari and Dewkala Thakur had a rewarding time at the All India Inter-University women's cricket tournament which GNDU, Amritsar won by beating Mumbai University by 45 runs at the Police Gymkhana yesterday.

GNDU's Dewkala Thakur (left) and Anisha Ansari with coach Ranjit Sandhu at the Police Gymkhana yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
GNDU's Dewkala Thakur (left) and Anisha Ansari with coach Ranjit Sandhu at the Police Gymkhana yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan

Anisha and Dewkala not only contributed in the team's success, but also helped lessen the financial burden of their families in Himachal Pradesh.

Good performances
Anisha, a 20-year-old India 'A' pacer claimed seven wickets in three matches, while batswoman Dewkala contributed 70 in two innings for GNDU. Both girls earned R25,000 each for being part of the winning team.

Anisha's father is a carpenter in Sirmaur. Forty six-year-old Ali's labour fetches him around Rs 6000 per month. Anisha's earnings through consistent performances on the cricket field for Himachal Pradesh and India 'A' provide some relief to the family's financial woes.

"I always look to contribute something to my family. I stay at the Khalsa College hostel (in Amritsar) that bears all my expenses. So, as and when I get match fees or prize money for representing India 'A' and the Himachal Pradesh senior team, I send a major part of it to my parents," Anisha told mid-day.

Dewkala's father — 45-year-old Guptaram — has a small piece of land in Manali Tehsil's Shangcher village in Himachal Pradesh, but Guptaram cannot grow crops as the region is hilly. Hence, he works as a labourer in nearby fields.

"Our family income is around R4000 per month. Though my parents are living in tough conditions and have no cricketing background, they support and encourage me to play this game," said 21-year-old Dewkala, who, like Anisha, represents Himachal Pradesh.

Anisha shifted to Amritsar in 2010 and wants to emulate her idol Jhulan Goswami, who has enjoyed a successful pace-bowling career in the Indian team. "I need to work on my speed to match Jhulan. Though she is my idol, she is my competitor too," said Anisha.

Coach ecstatic
GNDU's coach Dr Ranjit Sandhu was a proud man yesterday and celebrated the duo's success. "Until recently, these girls did not know what it was to sit in a bus given their rural background. Now, they travel by air. It's all because of their hard work and skill.

"We (Khalsa College and GNDU) only provide them good facilities. All players, who are representing the University don't need to pay college and hostel fees. Even food is free. They only need to concentrate on their cricket and education," said Sandhu.

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