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WPL 2024: Who Is Bharti Fulmali? Here’s All You Need To Know About The Gujarat Giants Player

WPL 2024: In the last league game of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), Gujarat Giants (GG) was reeling under pressure and that’s where Bharti Fulmali stood up and delivered. Scoring a clutch knock of 42 and stitching a crucial 68-run partnership with Kathyrn Bryce for the sixth wicket– she was instrumental in ensuring GG was saved from the blushes.

Named as a replacement for the injured Harleen Deol in this edition of the WPL, Bharti Fulmali has carved a niche for herself with commendable performances. She has extended a good vein of form from the domestic circuit as well.

Who is Bharti Fulmali?

Bharti Fulmali hails from Amravati, Maharashtra, and her cricketing journey commenced at a remarkably young age. Inspired by the legendary MS Dhoni, Fulmali’s passion for cricket ignited when she was just 13 years old and incidentally, broke the rearview mirror of a two-wheeler parked nearby. Despite facing initial setbacks, her determination remained unshaken.

At 17, Fulmali made her domestic debut for the senior Vidarbha women’s cricket team. Though her initial performance was not outstanding, she persevered and honed her skills, determined to make her mark in the cricketing world. Her maiden century against Rajasthan in the U23 One Day League in 2016 was a transformative moment for Fulmali.

It instilled in her a sense of responsibility as a player and bolstered her belief in her ability to deliver significant performances. This milestone not only showcased her talent but also fueled her determination to excel further in the sport, reaffirming her capacity to achieve remarkable feats on the cricketing field.

Her idolization of MS Dhoni fueled her drive to succeed, and soon, she began showcasing her power-hitting capabilities, catching the attention of selectors across various levels of the game. Fulmali’s journey through the ranks of cricket was marked by consistent hard work and dedication. She represented Vidarbha in various age categories, including Under-19, Under-23, and senior levels.

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Despite facing tough competition, she stood out with her exceptional talent and determination. She has inspired many girls from her region to take up the game and in the absence of Mona Meshram in the set-up, marshalls the squad to greatness and competitive cricket since 2012.

One of the pivotal moments in Fulmali’s career came during the 2018-19 Challenger series, where she emerged as the second-highest run-scorer of the tournament, amassing an impressive 114 runs in just three innings. This remarkable performance earned her a spot in India Blue’s team for the prestigious Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy.

In February 2019, Fulmali received national recognition when she was selected for India’s Women’s T20 International squad for the series against England. Her debut match against England marked a significant milestone in her career, but could score only 23 runs in 2 matches and was not persisted with by the team management, going ahead.

Throughout her journey, Fulmali attributes much of her success to the unwavering support of her family, especially her father, who played a pivotal role in nurturing her passion for cricket. Their encouragement and belief in her abilities served as her guiding light during challenging times.

Despite facing challenges and inconsistent opportunities at the national level, Fulmali’s performance in domestic cricket has been consistently impressive. In the 2023/24 domestic season, she showcased her batting prowess, accumulating 255 runs at an average of 42.5 in nine Senior Women One Day games and 180 runs in five Senior Women Inter Zonal One Day matches at an average of 60.

Fulmali’s aggressive batting style has earned her the nickname ‘Lady Gayle’, a testament to her powerful hitting abilities reminiscent of the renowned cricketer Chris Gayle. Her journey from a young girl in Amravati to a formidable force in Indian cricket serves as an inspiration to aspiring cricketers across the nation.

Looking ahead, Fulmali remains committed to her journey, determined to perform consistently and showcase her talent on the international stage. Her ultimate goal would be to earn re-selection for the Indian team, where she aspires to represent her country with pride and distinction once again.

With her unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence, Fulmali is destined to carve her name among the cricketing greats, inspiring generations to come.

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