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IndiaKerala tribal Minnu ready for India chapter

Kerala tribal Minnu ready for India chapter




Breaking barriers and going against the tide to achieve goals could possibly make or mar a player's career, especially when the individual hails from a humble background.

But for Kerala's 24-year-old all-rounder Minnu Mani, failure was never an option, for she realised at a very young age that her ultimate goal in life was to play for , come whatever may.

A tribal girl from Mananthavady in the Wayanad district in Kerala, Minnu took up cricket training when she was in 8th standard and never looked back. She traversed more than 80 kilometres on multiple bus routes to reach the nearest training facility, and would do that for six days a week.

Her perseverance and passion for cricket has now landed her in the Delhi Capitals' camp, with Minnu being the only player from her state to feature in the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL).

The franchise picked her up during the auctions at a price of Rs 30 lakh.

“For me, it is a really big opportunity to make my parents proud,” she told PTI in an exclusive interview.

“I would like to thank the Delhi Capitals, for I am the only player from Kerala who got selected,” she said.

Indeed, both, the opportunity and the pay cheque would attract any young kid dreaming of playing the sport at a bigger level. But to get there, Minnu took the road less travelled, rather created one for herself and persisted on it despite facing many challenges and she even had to lie at home about having extra classes, so she could attend cricket training.

“When I started playing cricket, I did not get any support from my family. They were like ‘this is a men's game, you cannot play it', or, ‘you can't do this',” she said.

“But I started with my cricket coaching in 8th standard, and that time I used to lie about going to cricket training – because they did not like me doing it. I used to lie to them about having extra classes (at school) and go for cricket practice.”

Minnu, a left-arm batter and right-arm off-spinner, had to face unique challenges everyday.

“The ground is around 42 kilometers from my house, it is a one-and-a-half hour journey (one way) and I have to change four busses to reach the ground. It used to be very tiring for me; I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning to prepare the meals for the day with my mother.

“I would leave home by 6:45am to reach the ground by 9:00am. I would train till about 1-2pm and then leave for home. The daily commute was very challenging and I would take a break only on Sunday.”

Minnu revealed that her parents, who did not support her initially but finally came on board with her plan to become a cricketer, took loans to send her to cricket training.

“I faced financial problems for travelling. My parents did not have a fixed job, my father is a daily wage labourer (a coolie), and my mother is a housewife. There was no financial stability. But somehow they used to arrange money for me to go to practice, which I can now manage through my match fees and all.”

“After I began achieving success at lower levels they realised that I could do this, that cricket is my passion, they began supporting me.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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