Ranchi: Roshanara Parvin`s selection in the country`s team for ICC Women`s World T20 in Sri Lanka, beginning later this month, is the crowning glory to a teenager who started in Orissa`s little known Bolangir town 12 years ago.
The 22-year-old has been described by Odisha women`s cricket team coach Rituparana Roy as the `best orthodox off spinner of the country`.
"She (Roshanara) has a very good flight. She is not the sort of player who bats a bit and shares her quota of bowling, but is a genuine off-spinner having good loop and flight. I hope she will shine in Sri Lanka, Roy, also former West Bengal women’s cricket captain, said.
Asked about her game, Roshanara said “Being a short height player at 4 feet ten inches, I can bowl deliveries giving them flight.”
ICC Women`s World T20 will be played from September 26 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.
Her talent had been spotted early by her father Kephatulla Khan, a cricket enthusaist himself, as he watched Roshanara, the youngest of his three children, turning her arm on a cricket pitch in Bolangir in 2002, she says.
But he too must have been surprised when 8 years later Roshanara, representing Odisha, took five scalps for a miserly three runs against Jharkhand in an under-19 girls cricket tournament in 2010. She followed it up with six for 23 in another tournament in Punjab.
"My father and my brother encouraged me, motivated me and gave a real meaning to my life," she said.
“As it happens to players coming from small towns, Roshanara used to prepare the matting pitch in her formative years.”
“My friends and I used to prepare matting pitch ourselves every day. But now there is good infrastructure,” she said.
She had started playing cricket as a standard seven student of Bolangir Government School and represented Bolangir in the inter-district tournaments before making her debut for Odisha under-19 WT20 tournament in 2010.
A fan of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and New Zealand offie Daniel Vettori, Roshanara, now a B.Com student, attended the Zonal Cricket Academy at Guwahati in 2011.
Her thrilling moment came when she went to the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore, and saw two heroes of the 1983 World Cup - Sandeep Patil and Syed Kirmani.
“I could recognise Patil sir immediately ... I took several days to recognise a famous cricketer like Kirmani sir despite a number of his photographs in the Academy,” laughed Roshanara, who was born after Kirmani hung his gloves in Test cricket.