Interview with Thirush Kamini
Murugesan Dickeshwashankar Thirush Kamini, or just Thirush Kamini as she is better known, is the new young face of Indian women's cricket. She slammed 100 runs from 146 balls against West Indies at the recently concluded ICC Women’s World Cup 2013, in the process breaking Mithali Raj's record for the highest runs scored in a World Cup game. She also recently hammered a breathtaking 150 runs in a T20 match in Bangladesh, thus reinforcing her credentials and underlining her potential to be the future of Indian cricket. In a casual chat with Taruka Srivastava, Thirush spoke about her career and her thoughts about the game:
Q. Do you think the BCCI has helped women's cricket as much as it has helped the men's game?
Yes, I feel the BCCI is doing a lot of good for the game and providing benefits to all the players. They have improved the state of women's cricket a lot by providing strong financial support for everyone. Also, they provide really good stadiums for us and give us great support staff – there’s nothing to complain about, really!
Q. Do you feel the national team plays enough games throughout the year?
We do play quite a few tournaments, but it would do us no harm at all if we participated in even more tournaments. It is always good for the game and players to play more cricket. We have just come back from the Bangladesh tour and there a few more tournaments in the pipeline as well.
Q. Do you think there should there be an IPL-style tournament for women cricketers as well?
Yes of course there should be. Such a tournament will help us play alongside the greatest players of the world, in the process learning a great deal and acquiring a lot of valuable experience.
Q. Are there any players that you look up to for inspiration? If yes, who are they?
Who else but Sachin Tendulkar? I think the whole cricket fraternity looks up to him, whether male or female.
Q. Who, according to you, are the best female players in the world right now?
I think Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are tremendous players. They have both represented India for so long and have done a great job. Their accomplishments speak for themselves.
Q. What is being done at the grassroot level to increase interest in cricket among girls?
Women's cricket is being promoted at the school level and young girls are being made aware about the benefits of playing the game. Also, the ICC has made some changes in the rules, like shortening the boundary and having only four players in the outfield, which have made the game more exciting for women players.
Q. With women sportspersons like Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom bringing glory to the nation, do you think parents are more encouraging of their daughters becoming sportspersons?
I believe family plays a very important role when it comes to encouraging kids. It depends from parent to parent as some are conservative while others are more supportive of the choices that their daughters make. I personally have been very fortunate to have a supportive family who have always encouraged me since I was young and continue to do so even today.
Q. Do you think that cricket can still be called a gentleman's game?
Well yes, I believe cricket will more or less always remain a gentleman's game.
Q. What do you think of RCB? Who are your favourite RCB players?
I think RCB is a great side with a very strong batting line up. They can challenge any team in the IPL. Virat Kohli currently seems to be doing very well for them, and he is my favourite player too!
Q. Which is your favourite shot?
I like playing all the shots in the book but my favourite has to be the cover drive.
Q. If there was one bowler from any point in cricket history, male or female, whom you would have loved to bat against, who would that bowler be?
It has to be Shane Warne!
Q. What is your message to young girls in India who want to grow up to be cricketers?
I would like more and more girls to play cricket. I want everyone to know that there are a lot of long-term advantages to playing cricket, and if any girl has the opportunity to become a professional cricketer, she shouldn’t let go of that opportunity!