Jemimah Rodrigues, the ever-fresh sensation of Indian cricket is all set to make her debut in the inaugural edition of The Hundred. In a recent conversation with BBC’s ‘Stumped’ podcast, she revealed her plans regarding the tournament.
“I am really looking forward to it (The Hundred). Something new, something different,” Rodrigues remarked in an interview to BBC’s ‘Stumped’ podcast. “Always wanted to be a part of it. The moment I got the e-mail from the England Cricket Board (ECB) for the event and another, an NOC from the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), I phoned Smriti (Mandhana) and informed her about the selection.”
Marking with the footsteps of the T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, opener Shafali Verma and opener Deepti Sharma, Jemima Rodrigues is the latest Indian player to go hand-in-hand with a much-exciting 100-ball tournament called ‘The Hundred’ where she would be contending among eight men-and-women teams.
She is also starring in the squad for the tour of England which is scheduled to be on the scene from June 16 to play for an odd-ball Test, three ODIs and T20s each. Rodrigues has previously played for the Yorkshire Diamonds before lining up into the Northern Superchargers, where she will be playing under the captainship of Lauren Winfield.
The all-rounder, along with the team is quarantining in a hotel in Mumbai which is just a 5-minute walk from her home. The team is about to leave for England along with the Men’s squad on June 2.
She pounds on her early days when she started with the world of cricket, saying, “My brothers used to play cricket and joined them. At the age of 3, my grandpa gifted me a bat and it’s here where I got driven with the game.” She shared how her father coached him all through her journey till she finally wore the Indian cap; her mother supported her, too.
Although it’s a stereotype for the girls playing cricket in India, Rodrigues’ father always embarked on her saying, “Don’t worry gem.” And when it was the Final against Australia in the T20 World Cup, her coach said just stick to living the moment and forget about the win or loss. Despite losing the final match of the tournament and knocked out with sheer disappointment, the young side really acted cool.
She thinks that she should have made her debut two years earlier. Meanwhile, during the podcast, she said that at the very beginning of her career, she was tensed with not performing well on main events, and it was then when she realized the gravity of the role that demands much clarification on performances and started working harder to finally get herself crowned with the Indian cap.
“Aussies are not very friendly,” Jemimah Rodrigues smirked with a laugh on being asked about the interaction with the 5-times World Champion, Australia in the final. She believes Indian cricket has changed a lot through the course of time and now, they are much more at the forefront than they used to be in the recent past.
“Shafali can walk-in without bothering who is bowling, such has been the change in approach,” she further added, “we are here to play good cricket for the country without thinking much about thinking much of providing contend to the masses.”
Commenting on the lockdown, she expressed disappointment that has hit the squad, not only the International cricket but the domestic too. She pointed at the utter need for leagues like IPL and Big Bash in the country. “Looking forward to IPL!” Jemimah Rodrigues exclaimed.
Noting significantly on the odd-ball Test match which is set to be played as the first encounter against England in the month-long tour, she said that she is an all-time fan of test cricket and it’s the mental fitness above all that matters the most in the 5-day format, unlike T20 or ODI that are “relatively faster”.
Accompanied on the side with the top Australian cricketer, Alyssa Healy, the England World Cup Winner Lauren Winfield-Hill is all set to captain the Northern Superchargers in the much-awaited tournament, The Hundred starting from July 21, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will play for Manchester Originals and Southern Brave respectively in the tournament. While speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments had earlier confirmed the news.
“The NOC has already been given to both Harmanpreet and Smriti. Harmanpreet will represent Manchester Originals while Smriti will play for Southern Brave in the inaugural edition of the competition,” the source had said earlier.
Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals will lock their horns in London on July 21.