Like many budding talent in the country, M. Mamatha started playing gully cricket in the by-lanes of Alwal about six years ago. Now, at the age of 19, she has been picked and is representing India C in the BCCI Senior women’s Challenger Series at Raipur from November 17.
Her journey, she says, has been “immensely satisfying” although riddled with odds. Despite coming from a poor financial background, her parents — father earns a living by ironing clothes and mother works as a domestic help — always supported her in chasing her cricketing dreams. “It has been a struggle, but fortunately, my passion for cricket and my parents’ complete backing is driving my ambition,” says Mamatha, elder of two girls and a wicketkeeper-batter, adding that her favourite cricketer is India star Smriti Mandhana.
A big part of the credit goes to the unstinted support extended by former Andhra captain and chairman of BCCI junior selection panel chairman V. Chamundeswaranath over the past two years. The support includes extending financial assistance of ₹20,000 per month to Mamatha to take care of minimum expenses for her daily training sessions at the Rama Naidu Academy in Ayyappa Society (Jubilee Hills).
“She has great talent and would make it big if given the right kind of exposure,” he says.
Mamatha need not look far for inspiration as former women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj also hails from the same locality. “I met her about two years ago and it was a general talk and she was very supportive,” she adds. Her dream, of course, is to don the national colours some day.