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Rashmi Gudia Odia girl becomes Jharkhand U19 captain #Cricket #Sports #Odisha
KEONJHAR: A few years ago, the state of Jharkhand saw the rise of a certain wicketkeeper who doubled as a batsman. As the sun sets on the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, another captain emerges in Jharkhand. Another batsman who keeps wicket, another figure of calm and resolution. Only this time, the cricketer is a woman. Only this time, the woman to captain Jharkhand Under 19 is from Odisha.

What the state could not do for Rashmi Gudia, Rashmi did for the state and gave it a formidable cricket hero to pin its hopes on.

“She went to Jharkhand after she was not selected for the Odisha team in 2013. She has also played in the Under 23 category and in the senior team for Jharkhand state. Now, she has been selected and is playing for the East Zone team in Mumbai,” said Amarendra Mohanty, Rashmi’s coach.
In selections, as in life itself, the 19-year-old has never had it easy. Rashmi’s mother works as a labourer in the Bolani Railway siding. Her father too is a daily wage earner. After Class VII, Rashmi took to cricket and started visiting the ladies coaching centre under the Steel Authority of India with increasing regularity. In 2013, she attended the state camp, representing the Keonjhar district, but was not picked for the Odisha team.

Dejected, she left for Jharkhand soon after. “I felt very hurt when I could not find my name in the final list in the training camp. My coach advised me to try my luck in Jharkhand. And it clicked,” said Rashmi.
She was selected for East Zone after scoring a mind-boggling 116 runs in the interstate match at Guntur in January. “Now, she is playing inter-zonal matches in Mumbai. She also scored a century against the Odisha team in an interstate match held in Cuttack last year,” coach Mohanty said.

Besides Rashmi, cricketers Pinki Tirky, Anjali Das and Israni Soren, all from Bolani, have also been playing for the Jharkhand team. Sangram Patnaik, a senior cricketer from the Keonjhar district said, “We are really proud of Rashmi. She has brought glory for the Keonjhar district.
“There are several talents in Keonjhar district, mostly in cricket. But due to lack of infrastructure, many of them are fading,” said Pradip Rout, a member of the District Athletic Association. src TOI

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