Mumbai batswoman Jemimah Rodrigues' family get emotional before her SA tour
A visit to young batswoman's home on eve of her SA tour
Jemimah Rodrigues' father Ivan and mother Lavita at their Bandra residence yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Rodrigues household in Bandra (West) is buzzing with excitement even though Jemimah, the star of the family, is with her teammates at the team hotel, all set to board the flight for their South Africa limited overs series tour. Jemimah, 17, is the youngest member of the Mithali Raj-led 16-member team. Her father Ivan and mother Lavita's eyes appear moist. "It brings tears to my eyes to think that my little girl will be wearing the India cap and fulfilling my dreams. Seeing the India logo on her luggage brought so much joy to my heart. Yesterday, she sent me a picture of her wearing the Indian blazer, I didn't know how to react," said Ivan, a former aircraft maintenance engineer.
Meanwhile, Lavita said that she always knew her girl was God's special one, but was apprehensive during the preparatory camp for the South Africa tour. "My main worry was that she is so young and has hardly interacted with senior players. I prayed that she gels well with everyone. After the first day (of the camp in Mumbai) itself, she called and assured me things are fine and that Smriti Mandhana is her roommate," said Lavita.
"On the ground, she is completely focused but off it, she is a witty character. Considering she used to take a lot of time to gel with people, I am surprised to see her handle the media so well," added Lavita, who runs a coaching class in Bandra with her husband. That this is an emotional time for everyone at home (including her bothers Enoch and Eli) was brought home yet again when Lavita revealed yesterday: "This morning, Ivan received a call from a friend in America and I saw him cry when he told his friend about Jemimah's tour. I felt like crying too, but I controlled myself. All the pain we went through to help her in her cricket flashed in front of us.
"Yesterday (Monday), we went with food to her hotel room and she said, 'Mama it's time for me to sleep; I need to wake up early. And I told her, 'Let me just hold you since I will meet you only after a month.' " It's as much a testing time for Jemimah's folks as it is for the cricketer. The tour of South Africa could be the last time they suffer from departure pangs because many a time an overseas tour helps even the junior-most of players grow a layer of steel. The Rodrigues family of Bandra will do well to pray for that to happen.
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