Driving home a point

Bowled over

Driving home a point

Gully cricket has always been the domain of boys. But as a child, Mamatha Maben religiously took part in every single cricket match played in her neighbourhood along with the boys.

​Mamatha did her schooling at St Meera’s School in Cambridge Layout where she spent most of her growing-up years and lived there for 13 years before the family moved to Domlur.  Her fascination for the game grew and before Mamatha knew it, she was playing for her school, college, State and made her debut in the Indian women’s cricket team in 1993.

She chose science in her Pre-University at NMKRV First Grade College. After she started playing active cricket, she switched to arts for her under-graduation.

 “In the 1980s, television had just come and India had won the World Cup in 1983. I remember that my cousin had a television and I would go  watch all the matches without fail,” recalls Mamatha who led the Indian women’s cricket team in 2003-04 and continued to play for Karnataka and South zone till early 2009.

After this, Mamatha took up the assignment as the head coach of Chinese women’s cricket team in 2009 and later moved on as head coach of  Bangladesh women’s cricket team in 2011.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Mamatha is literally married to cricket. She confesses that she can’t think of a life without cricket. “I was the last among three sisters and I was brought up like a boy and given all the freedom that my other two sisters didn’t really enjoy. When I was young, my father bought me a pair of shorts. I refused to wear it at first but once I tried them on, I wouldn’t get out of them,” she recollects. 

Mamatha observes that the game of cricket has come a long way since her time. Ask her which according to her was the glorious era of cricket and she says, “The team that lifted the World Cup in 1983 was the best. They left behind some glorious moments. Times have changed and today we continue to have a good team,” she says. 

She feels sports is slowly but steadily being given priority in schools. It should not be limited to a simple hour in class, but should be made a full-fledged subject in schools, she adds. “In China, sports is considered indispensable for the overall development of a person. India hasn’t reached that stage yet,” she points out.

The cricketer confesses that she lives for the moment and relishes every bit of it.    “Every moment is teeming with life. My only drive is to savour life and this keeps me going,” she signs off.

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